Danny Priest said his son, Chip, a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army, was wounded by grenade fragments.
"He said he's going to be fine," the senior Priest said Wednesday. "His spirits are good, and he's healing up."
Sgt. Priest and his detail were called in to help a rescue team whose Bradley fighting vehicle was attacked and destroyed. Priest and his men, with some other units, were conducting a sweep for insurgents in a dangerous Baghdad neighborhood when the attack occurred.
Priest said his son described being surrounded in the building by Iraqi militants "wearing black masks" and waving machine guns and grenade launchers.
A Quick Reaction Force was called in to help the foot soldiers, Priest said, but their Bradley fighting vehicle was destroyed by a car bomb.
When a rescue crew from another Bradley went to help the first armored crew, they were pinned down. Sgt. Priest led his men in an attack to give the rescuers cover. That was when he was hit by the shrapnel.
"Chip said it was a tough time," Priest said.
The wounded Americans, including Sgt. Priest and four others, were removed from the area in the rescue vehicle. A helicopter was called in to provide cover for the withdrawing soldiers, and was fired on by the men in the black masks, Priest said.
The helicopter gunship then destroyed the Bradley and returned fire, killing an unknown number of rebels. Between 40 and 80 Iraqis were killed and over 100 wounded in the day's fighting, which occurred in several areas.
Priest said he was at work when he got the call about his son.
"It kind of scares you to be told to call a number and find out your child has been hurt," he said.
Priest said his son will be home for leave in October. He has another 12 months on his tour of duty.
As word spread of the soldier's injuries, Priest said, "people have been calling and coming up to me to ask how he is."
Priest said his sisters, Billy Sue Hall and Cookie Jessup, were "overwhelmed" by people at Sunday's vigil for Bladen County soldiers.
"We really appreciate all the thoughts and prayers," Priest said. "Chip said he does too-it means a lot to all the servicemen and women over there."