Medford Army sergeant critical after Afghanistan accident

Army Sgt. Tom Rollason of Medford is in critical condition in a U.S. military hospital in Germany after he was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Rollason, 43, a member of the 569th Combat Engineers/4th Engineer Division, remained in a coma late today at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, according to his family and friends.

His father, Thomas F. Rollason, 67, died after a long illness in North Versailles, Pa., the day after the sergeant was injured by the roadside bomb.

The soldier's wife, Sandee, flew to Germany to be with her husband. The couple have three grown children: Elijah A., 28; Timothy M., 25; and Joshua D., 24.

News of his injury has devastated his friends and family, said Joe York, a Navy reservist from Rogue River who served in the Seabees with Rollason in Iraq in 2006-07. Rollason joined the regular Army after he completed his hitch in the Navy reserves.

"When we heard we were being activated and going to Iraq, Tom was the guy we wanted with us," York said. "With Tom, you knew you had a good person with you that you could count on.

"He walks softly and carries a big stick," he added. "He's one of those quiet guys with a great sense of humor and infectious smile. His smile always makes you feel good."

Contributions to help the family can be made in his name at both the U.S. Bank in Medford as well as the Rogue Valley Credit Union, according to his brother-in-law, Johnny Cordero of Medford. Cordero is also the pastor at the Lambs Home Fellowship in Medford, which Rollason attended when he was home.

— Paul Fattig

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