Iraq Vet Wounded in Occupy Protest Wakes Up
Occupy protests around the country hold candlelight vigils for Scott Olsen
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2011 7:49 AM CDT
A photograph sits on a memorial for Scott Olsen, an Iraq veteran who was severely injured during a standoff between Occupy Oakland and police, near the Occupy encampment on October 27, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who suffered a fractured skull when police raided the Occupy Oakland camp on Tuesday, is awake and lucid, and doctors have upgraded his condition from critical to fair, Reuters reports. “He’s able to understand what’s going on,” a hospital spokesman said. “He’s able to write and hear, but has a little difficulty with his speech.” Olsen’s parents flew in from Wisconsin yesterday to see him, and he “responded with a very large smile” when he saw them.

Olsen has a large bruise on his brain, but chief of surgery Alden Harken tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he should recover without surgery. As "We are all Scott Olsen" becomes a rallying cry, candlelight vigils were held for him in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and, of course, Oakland last night, the New York Times reports. Oakland’s mayor has also visited him, promising an investigation. But Olsen is unaware of his newfound fame. “He wouldn’t be able to comprehend it,” Harken says.