JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A hometown hero seriously injured while on patrol in Afghanistan found out he is not being forgotten where he grew up and calls home.
Jacksonville firefighters sponsored a luncheon for Josh Gillette, 32, who last October suffered face and arm injuries after being tossed sixty feet in the air following a bomb blast.
"The support we get from family, friends and then just hometown fellow Americans, it is amazing the support we are getting," said Gillette, who electronically watched the fundraiser from his home in Tennessee.
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"Can you understand me. I just got my false teeth in," said Gillette to his father, David, as they chatted before the luncheon started.
Nearly all the tables at the firefighters' hall were sold out with more than $7,000 raised as people paid $25 a person or $200 for a table to join the Gillette family.
"I tell you what I am humbled," said David Gillette after seeing so many people who came out to support his son's family.
"The outpouring of generosity, concern and of course more important the prayers," said Gillette.
Josh just this week returned home after receiving more medical attention at Walter Reed Medical Center. The soldier says he would like to return to duty sometime, but doesn't know whether or not that will happen.
His brother is also involved in raising money to support Josh. Josh is currently back on base in Tennessee with his wife, Ashley, and their daughter.
As a teenager, Josh attended both Englewood High and Wolfson High, where he was very involved in the ROTC.
First Coast News