Injured soldier’s family to fly to Germany
The family of a soldier critically injured in Afghanistan is planning to fly to Germany to be by his side.
Army Pfc. Corey Kent’s condition worsened Friday, according to his stepfather Dan Ashby.
Ashby said Kent was originally due to be transported to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland on Friday, but a call from the Department of Defense notified them his condition had changed.
The family is now expected to travel to Germany where he has undergone surgery and other treatment.
“Now things have changed, but they could change again,” Ashby said.
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, Kent 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 be reunited with their son.
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 have set up a fund for Corey through Bank of America.
Called the “Pfc. Corey A. 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.
Contributions can be made at any Bank of America location.