United States Army Sergeant Eric Hunter (Ret.) never really found a sense of purpose until he joined the military at the age of 22. He first deployed to Iraq in 2010. While there, he connected on the internet with a girl from his hometown named Kenna, and the two became close throughout his deployment. A few months after Eric's return, on June 1, 2011, Eric and Kenna got married and she and her two children came to live with him at Fort Campbell, KY.
Eric’s second deployment in April 2012 took him to Southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. On May 31, 2012, the day before Eric and Kenna's one year wedding anniversary, while on a dismounted patrol with his unit, Eric stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The bomb took his right leg and shattered his left, along with many other injuries. Eric was flown to three different hospitals before arriving at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Kenna came to be by his side.
Eric spent 4 years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he has undergone 61 surgeries with more possible surgeries in the future. Eric feels significant pain daily in both his salvaged leg and his amputated leg. In December of 2016, Eric and Kenna welcomed a new baby girl, making them a family of 5. They have spent the last 2 years living in a non-handicap accessible rental in Marietta, GA. Since Eric cannot use his wheelchair in his home, he has had to cope with being in pain while walking or scoot from room to room. The Gary Sinise Foundation is honored to provide the Hunters a specially adapted smart home to further enable this soldier and his family to move forward with their new life together.