Hundreds have rallied in support of Sgt. Cory Muzzy, the 25-year-old husband and father who was critically injured in a training accident Friday on Fort Bragg.
The training accident killed one soldier and injured seven others. Muzzy and Spc. Scott Yeates, 30, of Sanford, Fla., remain hospitalized from their injuries.
"It was very shocking to hear about the training accident in the first place, and then to find out it's someone you know is even more shocking," said Roxy Murphy, a friend of Muzzy's wife, Michelle.
Murphy has started an online fundraiser to help Muzzy's family during his recovery, and dozens of people have helped her pass the halfway mark of the $25,000 goal.
Muzzy is a cannon crew member in the 82nd Airborne Division's Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, which was conducting live-fire training with an M777 light-towed howitzer Friday.
Pfc. James Groth, 22, of Ethel, Wash., was killed. Five paratroopers were treated Friday and released.
Muzzy is in critical but stable condition at Duke University Medical Center, said Lt. Col. Virginia McCabe, spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne.
The cause is still under investigation. Chris Grey, chief of public affairs for the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, said Wednesday that he has no new information to release about the cause.
Murphy said Muzzy lost his right leg at his knee and the vision in both his eyes as a result of the accident, although there is hope he will regain vision in his left eye. He lost a toe and part of his foot in the accident, she said, and there is a chance doctors may have to amputate part or all of the foot.
Murphy, who has been in frequent contact with Michelle Muzzy, said Cory has undergone several surgeries since Friday to repair damage to his left foot, to clean up wounds on his right leg, to insert pins and plates for a broken right arm and to repair damage to his eyes.
The soldier is scheduled for surgery on Thursday, Murphy said, to repair a broken vertebrae in his neck.
Murphy said she wanted to help Muzzy and his family when she thought about "how totally life-changing his injuries are." Muzzy's wife and young son live in Roseboro and will be burdened with costs of related to his recovery, Murphy said, including travel to Durham, meals, lodging and another expenses.
Murphy said Muzzy's parents also are planning to move from Pecos, N.M., to help him through his recovery, which could be a significant expense.
"I immediately thought 'What kind of fundraiser can I put together?'" Murphy said.
Murphy lives in California, so she set up the "Cory Muzzy Wounded Warrior Fund" at FundRazr.com to help from afar.
All the money donated through the site goes straight to the Muzzy family's PayPal account, Murphy said. Her goal is to raise at least $25,000 for the family. By Wednesday afternoon, more than 200 people had donated more than $13,000.
Among those are parishioners of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Clinton, where Michelle Muzzy is a member.
Amanda Mello, Michelle Muzzy's cousin, said she informed church members on Sunday that Cory was among those wounded Friday. The church held a breakfast that morning to raise money.
"Everybody came over, and even if they didn't eat, they donated, which was very nice," Mello said. "In addition to that, some of them went onto the online site and donated as well."
Mello said the response from the congregation was very positive.
"Everyone was very interested in how they could help or what Michelle needed," she said.
Mello said those interested in helping are being directed to fundraising website.
Murphy said she has been surprised by how quickly the site is raising money for the family and how many contributors are from around the country.
"I think that it speaks a lot to so many lives Cory has touched in his time in the military," Murphy said. "The great thing with social media is you can reach so many people with a click of a button," she said.
For information on how to donate or to follow updates on Cory's progress, go to facebook.com/theteammuzzy.
To contribute to the fund, go to fundrazr.com/campaigns/dhiT2.