Among the guests honored during the President’s State of the Union address was an Army Staff Sergeant, who was honored for saving the life of a man whose story the public knows little about.
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, a Special Forces soldier who has served in the Army for eight years, was recognized by the President for receiving the Bronze Star, with a V for Valor for saving the life of Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy.
“Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a ‘V’ for ‘Valor,’ President Trump said to Peck. “All of America salutes you.”
Peck was part of a team of U.S. special operators conducting a mission in Raqqa, Syria -where the Department of Defense has been tight-lipped about operations- last November when a member of his team was severely injured.
Peck is credited with saving the life of his team’s Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician -who would have undoubtedly perished in Syria if it were not for Peck’s actions.
At the time of Stacy’s injury, the official report stated they were“working at a medical facility in the Middle East” because of the classified nature their mission. A few days later, it was reported on social media that Stacy was actually apart of a classified special operations mission in Syria.
Officials later confirmed their team had been working with partner forces to clear IEDs from territory previously controlled by ISIS.
“After the team had located and disarmed seven IEDs, Chief Petty Officer Stacy was clearing the second floor of a hospital building when he was struck by an IED blast and severely wounded,” according to the White House.
“Without hesitation, Staff Sergeant Peck, who was holding a position outside the building, rushed to Stacy’s location on the uncleared, IED-ridden second floor. Staff Sergeant Peck’s actions—including applying a tourniquet, placing an endotracheal tube, and performing artificial respirations and CPR—were directly responsible for saving Chief Petty Officer Stacy’s life.”
From there, he was first flown to a surgical team in Raqqah, where every member of the team gave him their own blood to keep him alive.
“This is a surgical team, they get him stabilized after multiple surgeries, after multiple pints of blood. They get him stable enough to put him in the bird. They’ve opened his chest, his belly and the surgical team now is standing up strapped to the floor of this CV-22 massaging his heart on the way to the hospital,” said Operation Inherent Resolve Commander Lieutenant General Paul Funk in December.
During the 48 minute flight (normally an hour and twenty minutes) from Syria to a hospital in Baghdad, where the Army’s Task Force Medical 47 was waiting, Stacy went through 42 pints of blood.
According to Funk, it was a miracle that Stacy even survived the flight. A doctor even said he did not believe Stacy’s wounds were survivable.
“It’s the will of the people to make this happen,” Funk said.
Once his surgery was complete and he was stable enough to travel, he was flown Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was reunited with his family for the first time.
Stacy’s wife, Lindsey Stacy, originally struggled with seeing the condition her husband came home in. It was shocking and heart wrenching to see the damage that had been done to her husband’s body.
The two have four children -Logan, Mason, Anabelle and Sadie. Logan is ten-years-old and suffers from Cerebral Palsy but still “visits his Daddy every day,” according to Lindsey Stacy.
In November, Popular Military reported their six-year-old, Mason, was struggling with his father’s injuries the most.
“He started to cry the other night, saying he doesn’t want his Daddy to die in the hospital,” Lindsey said. “They’ve seen him, but still, Daddy was in an accident, there’s evil people in this world.”
After undergoing multiple surgeries in San Antonio over the past months, Stacy was cleared to move on to the Rehabilitation phase of his treatment.
Yesterday afternoon, Kenton was transported by helicopter to TIRR (Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston, Texas. The hospital has been listed as one of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News and World Report 25 consecutive times. The rehabilitation hospital specializes in physical rehabilitation for patients who have suffered from traumatic brain or spinal injuries.
Since Veteran’s Day, over $82,000 dollars has been raised to help provide for the lifelong care Kenton Stacy will need as a quadriplegic and for suffering from partial blindness.
Those who wish to contribute to Lindsey Stacy and Kenton Stacy’s goal of 150,000 can contribute at YouCaring.com. For updates on The Stacy family and Kenton’s recovery, you may request to be added to the Facebook group #Stacystrong.
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