GREENVILLE — U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, a 2002 graduate of Greenville High School, is still recovering from injuries suffered as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) which exploded during a building sweep in Syria in November.
As he recovers, Kenton has received accolades, well wishes and prayers from across the country, including from the military and his hometown.
On November 18, Stacy was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries suffered during Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military’s efforts against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The decoration is America’s oldest military award.
Greenville City Council joined in December 5, with the City of Greenville issuing a commendation for Kenton in recognition of his service.
It is not the first time the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD), whose part of the 79th EOD Battalion, has received recognition, however.
Stacy was presented with a USO “Service member of the Year” award during a USO gala in October 2010, where he was lauded for participating in more than 50 combat missions while deployed to Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Kenton “destroyed improvised bombs, trained Afghan forces and U.S. Special Forces members on route-clearing techniques, and helped ensure the zero-casualty rate in the province where he worked.”
Upon receiving the award, Kenton was quoted as saying, “It’s a great reflection on the leaders that have trained me and taught me. Hopefully it shines a light on the EOD community and what we do for the bigger picture.”
Lindsey Stacy, Kenton’s wife and a fellow Greenville graduate, is with her husband at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where he is currently being treated. The couple’s four children — Logan, Mason, Anabelle, and Sadie — are also on hand to help see their father pull through.
“I’m taking it one day at a time,” said Lindsey. “Some days are better than others.”
The two self-described “high school sweethearts” married in March 2004. Kenton enlisted in the Navy in August 2005.
Lindsey says she feels “very grateful, very blessed and thankful” by the outpouring of support from people all over. “Thank you for your prayers, love and support,” she said. “And please keep praying, he has a long road ahead still.”
Lindsey updates family and friends on Kenton’s progress at the #StacyStrong Facebook page.
Lindsey posted an update Saturday writing,”Kenton is on CPAP and has been weened down to 30 percent. Please continue to pray for his lungs to be completely healed. Pray for Kenton’s eyes. Pray that he will want to open them more as he is very light sensitive even with the sunglasses.”
“Today marks 1 month since Kenton’s accident. I still feel like it is a bad dream and I wish someone would wake me up. Kenton has made so much progress but still has a long road to recovery. I have played out every scenario in my head. Played the what if game 100 times over. I still wonder why this had to happen to Kenton and our family. We have been through so much as a family and it feels so unfair. I often think of the future and I would be lying if I wasn’t scared. My heart is broken for my husband. I wish I could take his place and his pain away.”
A online fundraiser for the family, found at http://ow.ly/ttJV30h85n1 has raised more than $69,000 towards a goal of $75,000.