Soldier injured in Afghanistan recovering from surgery at German hospital
Army Pfc. Corey Kent was recovering from surgery in Germany as of Thursday, according to his stepfather Dan Ashby.
Ashby said Kent, 21, lost his right leg up to his hip, his left leg to his thigh, and fingers on his left hand, as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion while on dismounted foot patrol with his squad in Afghanistan.
The attack occurred roughly 3 a.m. eastern standard time Monday. Two other soldiers from Kent’s squad were also injured, Ashby said, but all three are alive.
Ashby said he was also informed that Kent had an abdominal injury that was discovered by doctors during surgery, but doctors did not know the extent of that injury Thursday.
Ashby said he understood the risk of Corey being critically injured was high, but was nonetheless shocked.
“You know there’s a possibility you’ll get that call, but you never think it’s going to happen,” Ashby said.
A true native son of Lee County, Kent was a born and raised in Cape Coral and was a graduate of Mariner High School.
Kent attended a year at the University of Central Florida in Orlando before deciding to join the armed forces.
Dan Ashby said Corey never made a definitive statement as to why he switched gears from college to enlisted life.
He said Corey talked about enlisting while in high school, speculating that
college just wasn’t offering the kind of challenges Corey sought.
A gifted student, Corey graduated near the top of his class at Mariner.
“I don’t think it was as challenging for him as other college students,” Ashby said. “He was definitely looking for a challenge.”
Kent’s family is now trying to traverse that time between when they first learned of his injuries to when they will eventually be reunited with their son.
Ashby said its unknown when Corey will arrive stateside, though it’s expected he will move from Germany to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland when his injuries allow.
Helping the family through these moments is Tyler Araujo, whose son, Pfc. Michael Araujo, suffered similar injuries last year. Both Corey and Michael attended Mariner High School together.
Ashby said Araujo’s help and support has been crucial. He’s been able to provide advice and information to the family.
“Tyler has been a godsend,” Ashby said. “He dropped everything and ran over here … you have no idea how important he’s been.”
Ashby said they were in the process of setting up a fund for Corey through Bank of America
Called the “Pfc. Corey Kent Family Assistance Fund,” Ashby said he was still working out the details of the fund on Thursday.
Ashby said all inquiries are to be directed to Karen Gross, fund administrator at Bank of America, at 849-9363.