Surviving Afghanistan: Marine paralyzed in Kabul Airport attack continues recovery

Marine Cpl. Kelsee Lainhart interview for DCC
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:28 PM CST
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DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (WXIX) - A U.S. Marine paralyzed in the Kabul Airport attack says she is amazed at the amount of support she has received as she continues to recover.

Marine Cpl. Kelsee Lainhart was among the service members wounded in the Kabul Airport attack on Aug. 26. For the first time since she was injured, Lainhart talked about what happened that day with FOX19 NOW.

Lainhart was working with the withdrawal of U.S. troops and refugees in the frantic final days of the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan when the attack happened. Thirteen service members died in the attack.

The Dearborn County, Indiana, native was left paralyzed.

Two surgeries and three months later, Lainhart is still in the hospital.

Her recovery has taken her from Walter Reed in Washington to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.

When news of what happened to her first spread, Lainhart’s hometown community immediately stepped up to show love for their fellow Hoosier.

Students and teachers at Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools started a T-shirt fundraiser with the proceeds going to the Lainhart family.

There were so many letters coming in for the Marine that her parents had to set up a P.O. box just for the support messages.

Lainhart says she is amazed at the amount of support she has received.

“It’s absolutely insane. Um, yeah, I just, it’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable,” she explained. “I’m sure there’s more at home. You know, I haven’t seen pictures, but I have received so much stuff. And some, like just so many messages, so many people wanting to see how I’m doing. It’s awesome.”

So, what’s next for Lainhart?

While she agrees that “once a Marine, always a Marine,” it might be time to consider a post-military career, she says.

“It really just depends on my progress and everything like that,” she explained. “I would assume I’d be getting out of the military. But yeah, like you said, ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine.’ I am very grateful for my service and things that I’ve learned, you know.”

Despite everything she has been through, the decision to join the Marines is one Lainhart says she does not regret.

Follow Lainhart’s recovery on her CaringBridge page.

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