The call itself did not alarm her.
    Mandy Lund had been receiving daily calls from her husband since his National Guard unit arrived in Iraq last winter. So although the telephone rang earlier in the day than usual, hearing his voice on the other end was part of a soothing routine the young bride had come to rely upon in the long months that followed Eric Lund's departure.
    But there was nothing routine about this call.
    "He told me that he wanted me to know there had been an accident," Mandy Lund said. "He said he was OK, and that I would be informed later about what had happened. That was about it."
    The Providence woman would later learn that a roadside bomb had embedded shrapnel throughout her husband's body, nearly costing him his leg.
    For another soldier, the cost was higher. Ronald Wood, a Cedar City man who had served in the Guard for 11 years, was killed in the blast. He would have turned 29 next month.
    Wood was, friends and neighbors recalled, a kind man whose physical attributes belied his gentle heart.
    "We called him Mr. Muscles," said Camee Zingelman, who lived next door to Wood when he lived in Enoch.
    She recalled times when her daughter, a softball pitcher, would lose balls over the fence and have to retrieve them from Wood, who would always laugh the matter off. "He was a great neighbor and a great guy," Zingelman said.
    Dawn Lennert, customer service manager at the Cedar City Smith's Food and Drug Center, said Wood worked his way up from the frozen food department to manager of the store.
    "He was really good to work with," she said. "Ron was always there if you ever needed him."
    The attack that claimed Wood's life and severely injured Lund also resulted in wounds for a third Utah soldier, Christopher Olsen, whose left leg was struck by shrapnel. He underwent surgery to have the pieces removed.
    The attack on the 148th Field Artillery Battalion soldiers' Humvee came about 4 p.m., Saturday, in the northeastern city of Kirkuk. Hours later in Musayyib, south of Baghdad, more than 70 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up while under a fuel tanker. A slew of additional insurgent strikes were made throughout Iraq on Sunday, a day in which the Pentagon confirmed the deaths of four soldiers killed in earlier attacks, all involving improvised explosive devices.
    Nearly 700 American troops have been killed by explosive devices -- most of those roadside bombs -- since the beginning of the Iraq war, according to Defense Department records. More than 6,800 have been injured in explosive device attacks.
    Mandy Lund doesn't know what factors provided that her husband would only be counted as one of the wounded. He and Olsen were in the same "up-armored" vehicle as Wood and were wearing the same protective equipment, Utah National Guard officials said.
    "I don't know why he lived through this," Mandy Lund said. "But I know he is being watched over now and that the prayers of our family and friends are making a big difference."
    Lund was preparing to travel to Germany, where he will undergo additional surgery, on Sunday. Once stable, he will return to the United States for further care.
    With just a few months left to go in her husband's scheduled deployment, Mandy Lund had grown confident that he would return safely. Now, she's simply happy he will return.
    "In so many ways, it is a relief," she said. "For us, this deployment is over."
    It was unclear, Sunday, what the future would hold for Olsen.
    For Wood's parents, who live in Colorado, the Utah National Guard has assigned a casualty assistance officer to help them as they await the return of their son's body and prepare for a funeral.
    Wood's family will also receive an immediate death gratuity of $100,000. Though other families are now collecting that amount retroactively, Wood's family is the first family of a Utahn to do so since Congress passed a law increasing the payment from $12,400 earlier this year.
    The benefit, the Pentagon explained in a statement announcing the increase, is intended to "recognize the direct sacrifice of life of those service members placed in harm's way and in service to the nation."
    Defense Department records indicate 11 other Utahns have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001, though several more have died who were living or serving in Utah without having made the state their formal home of record. An unofficial list of Utahns and former Utahns maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune names Wood as the 21st to be killed.