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Uganda bombing hits close to home for Gaylord family

July 15th, 2010

“I’m OK mom.” That was the call Alice and Joe Strobel of Gaylord received from their son Brad on Sunday evening.

Strobel is living in Uganda and was close to where a pair of bomb blasts killed nearly 80 people in the city of Kampala.

Alice Strobel said her family was unaware of the bomb blasts until Brad phoned home. Alice said she knew it was serious once Brad questioned about the news not hitting the United States yet.

Strobel, who lives in a suburb of Kampala, was watching the World Cup final at a bar when the blast occurred. He was chased from the bar when a friend received warning of the terrorism threat.

One American, Nate Henn, 25, of Wilmington, Delaware, who worked with Invisible Children, a San Diego-based aid group, was killed in a bomb blast.

Al-Quaida-linked Somali militants, on Monday, claimed responsibility for the apparent suicide attacks. The explosions occurred late Sunday about 20 minutes apart, first at an Ethiopian restaurant, and then at a rugby field, where soccer fans were watching the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. An unexploded vest was found at another site which suggested even further terrorism was planned, authorities reported.

Strobel is scheduled to return home this week. His mother reports that he will be arriving here Saturday and will be home until August 22. Strobel has adopted two sons in Uganda but they will not be joining him on this trip.

After a short-term mission trip a few years ago, Strobel decided to move to Uganda to work at Noah’s Ark orphanage. He is now working on a mission project that is designed to teach disabled people a trade.

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