An airman from Hurlburt Field was seriously injured in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device detonated on Sept. 23.
Technical Sgt. Joe Deslauriers, 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, lost both legs and one hand in the explosion. He is being treated for his injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Deslauriers’ wife Lisa has been a teacher at Mary Esther Elementary School in Mary Esther for several years, and the pair was married last year. Lisa is expecting the couple’s first child in December.
Gary Massey, Principal of Mary Esther Elementary School, said that his staff is in “a holding pattern” as they wait to see how they can best support the family.
“We’ve had our hospitality committee meet, and we are going to send monthly care packages from the staff at the school,” said Massey. “We’re going to set up a baby shower in November via Skype or whatever way we can communicate with them at that time.”
“We’re trying to meet the needs that aren’t being met by the military and to be honest there isn’t much,” said Massey. “They are doing a fabulous job. We’re just praying and keeping her in our thoughts and letting her know we are here to support.”
Hurlburt Field’s 1 Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office issued a statement regarding Deslauriers condition.
“His family specifically requested privacy during this time. Out of respect for their wishes, we will not comment on the specifics of his injuries.”
“It takes a special breed of Airman to seek out an explosive device and put himself in harm's way for the sake of making the place safer for fellow service members and innocent bystanders,” the statement continued. “Our efforts are focused on ensuring the family has everything necessary to get through this difficult time.”
For more on this story, see the Oct. 6 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.