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SALT LAKE CITY — The Carbon County community is rallying around a Utah Marine who was injured in the suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport on Aug. 26 that killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans.
According to Marine spokesman Capt. Johnny Henderson, 15 Marines are receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Family members confirmed this includes Utah native Cpl. Wyatt Wilson of Carbon County.
Last week, the student body at Carbon High School, where Wilson graduated in 2017 according to school Principal Jarad Hardy, gathered to wish him well.
According to Hardy, members of the student government didn't hesitate in coordinating a schoolwide picture event after hearing that Wilson was one of the injured Marines.
On Friday, the student body filled the football field bleachers in blue T-shirts for a picture. Afterward, Hardy said students wrote letters of encouragement that will be sent to Wilson.
"Our saying around here is 'Once a Dino, always a Dino,' and so that was just us following the philosophy we've adopted that one of our own was hitting hard times and we wanted just to reach out to be able to encourage him and help him out," Hardy said.
According to a GoFundMe* set up for Wilson and his young family, he was seriously injured in the Aug. 26 suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans. Another Utah Marine, Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, was among those killed.
Wilson sustained several injuries to his chest and face and has had surgery to repair his jaw. He also suffered multiple shrapnel wounds to his abdomen and extremities and will need additional surgeries.
However, over the weekend, Wilson got to meet a fellow Marine he rescued after the bombing — Cpl. Kelsee Lainhart of Indiana — in a tender moment.
In a Caring Bridge blog post, Lainhart's parents shared that Wilson helped retrieve and get her into a medevac vehicle after the explosion.
"He also sustained some serious injuries and has been recovering in the ICU. He had asked to see Kelsee once he was able to get out of bed as well. So they both made it to a chair for the first time. His parents, wife, and nurses wheeled him down to Kelsee's room and he sat in his wheelchair outside her room as anyone entering her room needs to have protective capes and gloves. His jaws are currently wired shut so he brought a whiteboard with him to write on so they could communicate with one another. They communicated back and forth for about 15 mins. Before he left he asked if he could be wheeled in to touch her hand so we agreed and they put the gloves and cape on him so he could enter her room. It was very touching," wrote Stacey Lainhart.
Lainhart's parents wrote the two didn't know each other before the bombing, but they will have a bond for life now.
According to Henderson, one of the 15 injured Marines was in critical condition while three were in serious condition and 11 were in stable condition as of Tuesday morning.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.