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Local Wounded Warrior Tells His Story of Determination

"I still get discouraged sometimes when I see other guys that came in after me that are doing great you know and it's like I'm still here but you know, I'm here," said Kevin Jaye, wounded warrior from Smithsburg.

BETHESDA, Md. - An army hero, born and raised in Smithsburg saw his life change when he stepped on an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Kevin Jaye lost his right leg below the knee and now trying to save his left leg.

But despite the many surgeries and long recovery process, he's determined to overcome these challenges.

"It all went in like slow motion didn't really know what was going on, didn't even know I was hurt at the time," said Kevin Jaye, wounded warrior from Smithsburg. 

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, more than 1,500 U.S. Troops have become amputees and Kevin Jaye is one of them.

He's a below the knee amputee on the right side, working to gain his strength in his left arm and salvage his left leg.

"It was also really frustrating being away from my guys that were overseas still I think that was probably the hardest thing I had to do, you know I didn't care too much about me being hurt it was that I wasn't still over there with my guys," said Jaye. 

Jaye is recovering at Walter Reed Military Hospital with his mother by his side.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else talking care of him, we feel blessed that we're close to home. Rather than other people who are here at Walter Reed that are 3000 miles away from home so I have to look at it that way," said Karen Barnett, Kevin Jaye's mother. 

But it's a new challenge affecting the whole family.

"But a lot of people don't realize that it's not just Kevin who's affected, its the whole family. We're away from home, we're talking care of two households at the same time, we leave husbands and other siblings home and it's hard on everybody," said Barnett. 

After more than a year of recovery, Jaye is happy with his progress and making plans for the future.

"Trying to help others too," said Jaye. "You know, trying to become a physical therapist that's one thing I've been thinking about doing." 

But throughout this process, he's just taking it one day at a time.

"I mean yeah I still get discouraged sometimes when I see other guys that came in after me that are doing great you know and it's like I'm still here but you know, I'm here," said Jaye. 

Kevin Jaye's next goal is coming back home for the Hagerstown Kickball Classic, an event where all proceeds will support "Truckin 4 Troops" in Kevin's honor. For more information about the kickball event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/HagerstownKickballClassic

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