Originally created 05/11/04

Injured sheriff's deputy improves



A Richmond County sheriff's deputy who was injured while serving with his Naval Reserve unit in Iraq has been moved out of intensive care in a Navy hospital, officials said Monday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Lindon Haworth, who has been with the sheriff's office since the mid-1990s, is now in a regular ward at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., hospital officials said.

Navy officials did not release his condition.

Petty Officer 1st Class Haworth was injured after his unit came under mortar attack in late April in Iraq. Several members of the unit were killed during the attack.

The deputy is serving in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14, based in Jacksonville, Fla. Members of such units, called Seabees, perform construction work in support of military missions.

Bob Nelson, a public affairs officer at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, said Petty Officer 1st Class Haworth's military occupation is as a steelworker.

"We've talked to him on the telephone, and we're hoping for a full recovery," said sheriff's Capt. Chester Huffman, of the Augusta-Richmond County Detention Center, where the wounded deputy worked in transportation before his deployment about three months ago.

"We're proud of him," Capt. Huffman said.

Co-workers describe the deputy as a man of deep faith.

Sgt. Walter Ashley, who was once in charge of Petty Officer 1st Class Haworth's transportation detail at the Richmond County jail downtown, said the deputy kept his Bible near him constantly.

"He even prayed on his breaks," Sgt. Ashley said.

"We know if there's anybody who can handle this, he can, because of his strong beliefs," the sergeant said.

Sheriff's Col. Gary Powell Sr., who has a son serving in the Army in Iraq, said there are about 12 deputies who are currently deployed or who have been deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The department keeps a bulletin board with yellow ribbons and a picture of each person to honor the department's employees and their loved ones serving in the military. Petty Officer 1st Class Haworth's ribbon has a small red fabric heart with "injured" written across it.