A Cascade Christian High School graduate was critically injured Tuesday when an improvised explosive device detonated during a mission near the border of Pakistan.
Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller JD Day, the son of Central Point police Lt. Brian Day, was tasked with finding and addressing ISIS militants in the Middle East.
According to information posted on a gofundme page established to aid in Day’s recovery (www.gofundme.com/5sxpgu0), “Day was serving in Afghanistan as an Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller assigned to a U.S. Army Special Forces ODA Team.”
Following the explosion, combat medics and rescue personnel stabilized Day for transport. A team of surgeons made the decision to amputate his right leg above his knee as well as portions of his left hand, according to the web page. Day also required a skin graft to treat burns on the inside of his thigh and groin area, and he’s awaiting a final assessment by a specialist to see whether his right hand can be saved.
According to the gofundme page, Day was awarded the Purple Heart by a general who placed the medal on his chest as he slept.
Central Point police Chief Kris Allison said Day’s family was preparing to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to greet Day when he arrives in the U.S. between Friday and Saturday. Allison said family and city officials were asked to refer media requests to military Air Force officials.
In a statement on social media, Allison said, “JD was a role model of good character, discipline, commitment and service-to-others growing up here in the Rogue Valley. JD is a graduate of Cascade Christian High School and is a newlywed to his beautiful wife, Aubry. These qualities instilled in his hometown no doubt led him into harm’s way in service to our country and its ideals.
“Many times, his family didn’t know where he was or what he was doing, but were always keenly aware that he was in danger. Now they know that he will be coming home sooner than later, and for that they are grateful.”
Following Day’s injury, Air Force officials arrived from Washington state to his parents’ home to wait with the family for one of Day’s teammates traveling from Florida to serve as family liaison.
Day learned recently that he and his wife are expecting their first child.
The gofundme page, established with an initial $10,000 goal, had reached nearly $$32,501 by Friday afternoon.
Reach Medford freelance writer Buffy Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org.