Cape community rallies to help injured soldier
The Cape Coral community mobilized this weekend to raise donations for the family of injured soldier Corey Kent.
Early in the morning of July 12, Pfc. Kent, a 2006 graduate of Mariner High who later joined the Army, was injured on foot patrol in Afghanistan after an improvised explosive device exploded. The 22-year-old lost his right leg up to his hip, his left leg up to his thigh and fingers on his left hand.
Jordan Kent, Corey’s 17-year-old sister and student at Ida S. Baker High, said he underwent surgery on Friday night at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. to fix his broken arm. Later, he was put back on a ventilator.
“Every day there is progress,” she said. “He is a fighter.”
A number of Cape Coral businesses and organizations held fund raisers Saturday, and will continue raising donations, to assist Corey’s mother Tiffany and stepfather Dan Ashby because both left their jobs to be with Corey in the hospital.
Stores belonging to the 7-Eleven franchise community hosted car washes in honor of Kent. Friends and family washed cars from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and residents gave donations and got their cars clean. One donation, from someone named “Nick,” was $100 and another silent sponsor pledged to match every dollar raised on Saturday.
Keith Campbell, owner of the 7-Eleven on Skyline Blvd., said the car wash was thrown together quickly, but that the community showed great support. Other 7-Eleven stores and Advanced Auto Parts will continue posting canisters to collect more for the family.
“It was going to be us doing a carwash, and it became a community thing,” said Campbell.
The Harney Point VFW in downtown Cape Coral also held a beef and burgundy dinner to benefit the Kent family. From 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, the public was invited to pay $8 for the dinner. Ryan Barna, member of the VFW post, said he was hoping to sell 150 dinners.
All of the proceeds are going to the Pfc. Corey A. Kent Family Assistance Fund at Bank of America, said Barna. Further, the VFW is hoping to help Corey in other ways.
“The VFW hasn’t had their meeting yet, but a couple of things are on the floor,” said Barna, including a lifetime membership in the VFW and possibly a motorized wheelchair.
The Vietnam Veterans of America in Cape Coral, Chapter 594, also wants to help Corey and his family.
“We are going to take care of their home as much as we can,” said Jim Toboll, a member.
Toboll said that Corey will overcome and adapt to his physical injures, but the mental struggle will be something he has to deal with every day of his life. Members of the local chapter want to help install a wheelchair ramp at Corey’s house, mow his lawn or help make the house more wheelchair accessible.