On the one hand I hate writing these kinds of posts because it means a member of our military family has been severely hurt. On the other hand, I appreciate the opportunity to bring his story before the large military support community that hangs out here at Blackfive and supports our troops so well.
Kevin Whalen of Pundit Review Radio received an email from a fan of the SYSK segment we do there, talking about a friend of his who was recently badly wounded in Afghanistan.
Here's a portion of that email:
I am writing to ask your help in getting the word out to people about a good friend of mine, Massachusetts Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Kevin Dupont. Kevin was seriously wounded while serving in Afghanistan. On March 8, 2009, Kevin was riding in a convoy of vehicles in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. Kevin’s Humvee was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device.
The blast destroyed the vehicle and turned it into a raging inferno. The driver, Army Private First Class Patrick Devoe of Auburn, New York was killed. Another Sergeant, Robert Perez, a member of the LAPD on military leave, was wounded and received 2nd degree burns.
Kevin was the vehicle commander and was stuck inside the Humvee as it burned out of control. After struggling, Kevin was finally able to open the door and jump out. A following vehicle stopped and I was informed that they had to use a fire extinguisher to put Kevin’s flaming uniform out. As a result of the explosion and fire, Kevin suffered 3rd degree burns to over 65% of his body including his face,hands and legs.
Kevin and Sgt Perez where immediately flown to an aid station in Afghanistan where they were treated and then flown to a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. In Germany, Doctors prepped Kevin and Sgt. Perez for an emergency flight to the US Army Burn Center at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Kevin was placed in an induced coma so that he wouldn’t suffer from the pain of the burns.
On March 11, 2009 Kevin and Sgt. Perez arrived at Brooke Army Hospital. Kevin and Sgt. Perez were immediately taken to the Burn Ward. Kevin’s wife, Lisa Dupont had flown from Boston to to Texas to meet Kevin when he arrived. Lisa is a police officer with the MBTA Police. Doctors at Brooke advised Lisa that Kevin has severe burns and that his is the second worst case that they have ever treated. Sgt. Perez’s burn were not life threatening and he was transferred to a recovery ward. While being evaluated, it was learned that Kevin had also sustained burns to the interior of his lungs. During the next few days we were not sure that Kevin would survive. The doctors at Brooke warned us that Kevin’s greatest threat was infection and pneumonia. Both of these could kill him at any time. Kevin was placed on a ventilator to help his breathing.
Since March 11th,Kevin’s wife has been by his side. Myself and some of Kevin’s friends have gone down to Texas to visit with him and his wife. Kevin’s condition has improved somewhat. We are told that he is not out of the woods yet, but he is continuing to amaze his Doctors and Nurses. Kevin is still in an induced coma, but the staff has begun to slowly bring him out of it. He has had numerous operations to graft skin. Right now the Doctors have completed approximately 90% of the required skin grafts. Due to the severe burns to his face, it is uncertain if Kevin will have the use of his eyes. We are still hoping that he will come-to and be able to see. Last week, Kevin was taken into surgery to have all of his fingers and thumbs amputated. Due to the burns, Doctors had no other choice.
I write this letter to ask for your help in getting Kevin’s story and sacrifice out to the people of Massachusetts and to his hundreds of friends throughout New England. Kevin is no spring-chicken. He is 52 years old and after graduating from Chicopee, Massachusetts High School he enlisted in the Marines. After serving two tours in the Marines,Kevin returned home and joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard. While serving with the Mass Guard, Kevin has been assigned to the Counter-Drug Program. During his service with the Guard, Kevin has worked with almost every law enforcement department in the state. He has also been assigned to two FBI (H.I.D.T.A.) offices and to the United States Coast Guard Intelligence Unit in Boston. Kevin has hundreds of friends in law enforcement in Massachusetts as well as the other New England states.
I haven’t heard of one news story about Kevin since he was wounded. I am hoping that you will be able to let people know. Kevin volunteered to be deployed to Afghanistan. He didn’t have to go. He could easily have stayed here in Massachusetts doing his National Guard duties instead of where he is now, lying in a hospital bed unconscious, with feeding and breathing tubes keeping him alive and bandages over most of his body.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. I listen to you guys every week and thanks for turning me on to Michael Yon as well.
SFC Kevin Dupont and his family need our help. Kevin's wife Lisa is also a member of the Mass. National Guard and has had a tour in Iraq as an MP. Both of these fine people have served our country in war.
A website has been set up for Kevin where you can go and leave a message for he and Lisa. Lisa prints them off and reads them to Kevin every day. She's been by his side since he got to Brooke and I think we all know what that means in terms of expenses. Any help you can provide to defray the cost of Lisa's stay in San Antonio would be most appreciated. We want to keep her there as long as she needs to be by Kevin's side.
So Kevin's friends have set up a tax-exempt foundation to take donations if you're so inclined.
Blue Skin Foundation
256 Doyle Road
Holden, MA 01520
If you'd like to send a card or letter to Kevin and Lisa, you can do so to their attention at:
Brooke Army Hospital
3851 Roger Brooke Dr. #3600
Fort Sam Houston
San Antonio, TX 78234
Folks, this is what the Blackfive community does best. My thanks to all of you in advance.