Homecoming planned for Corey Kent
Corey Kent is scheduled to touch down at Southwest Florida International Airport on July 9 and it will be the first time he’s been back home since sustaining his injuries while serving in Afghanistan.
He was serving his first tour of duty in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded on July 12, 2010, taking both his legs.
He’ll be home through the early part of August, after which he’ll return to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland to continue his rehabilitation therapy.
Kent will receive a hero’s welcome upon his return to Cape Coral, but he’ll also be coming home to a groundbreaking for a new addition to his home that will give him independence and freedom when he finally comes back home for good.
A majority of materials and labor needed to make that addition a reality have been donated, according to Todd Gates of Gates Construction.
Gates Construction is the project general contractor, and the Bonita Springs based company is ready to get to work on Kent’s home.
“The industry that was hit the hardest is standing the tallest. I’m extremely proud of my colleagues,” he said.
A total of $63,000 worth of materials and labor have been donated by the Cape Coral Construction Industry to the project, which was the brainchild of former WINK-TV news anchor Trey Radel and his newly formed non-profit group, the US Forces Fund.
The city of Cape Coral also pitched recently by waiving permitting fees for the project.
CCCIA Executive Director Heather Mazurkiewicz said “multiple” members of the association were getting together on the project.
“We just wanted to get together and make sure this is going to happen,” he said.
Kent’s stepfather, Dan Ashby, said Corey is scheduled to fly in at 10:30 a.m. on July 9, and the groundbreaking for the new addition to their home set for July 12.
An escort will bring Kent from the airport to Leapin’ Lizard in Cape Coral where the community will be able to celebrate his return.
Ashby said Corey is anxious to give his thanks to those who have prayed for him and helped him along the way.
“He’s looking forward to thanking the community and thanking and many people as he can,” Ashby said. “He still feels he was just doing his job.”
The speed in which Kent works through the rest of his rehabilitation while back at Walter Reed will dictate when he returns home for good, Ashby said.
“It depends on how hard he pushes, but he’s made some major strides,” Ashby said.
Todd Gates said “95 percent” of the necessary donations have been made but the project could still use the remaining 5 percent to see the everything is completed.
“We’re pleased with the outpouring of support for Corey and his family,” Gates said.