SMITHSBURG—Pfc. Kevin R. Jaye, a U.S. Army infantryman serving in Afghanistan, will be returning to the United States Friday after suffering numerous serious injuries from a improvised explosive device, his father said Wednesday.
Ken Jaye of Smithsburg said his 25-year-old son, who was with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, stepped on the pressure plate of an IED, and it exploded violently, resulting in the amputation of his right leg below the knee.
“I’m just glad my son’s alive,” Ken Jaye said.
The blast also left Kevin Jaye with multiple fractures in his left leg, two broken arms and a ruptured ear drum, according to his father. He also lost his right pinkie finger.
The wounded soldier was flown to the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, where he was receiving treatment for his injuries, his father said.
“He’s in more pain than you could ever know,” Ken Jaye said. “... He is our American hero.”
Ken Jaye said that he was in a state of shock when he received the grim news from an Army official on Sunday at 7 a.m., just after arriving at work in Frederick.
He said his son is expected to be back Friday, arriving at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Kevin Jaye enlisted in the Army in October 2010 and was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., where he later graduated from the U.S. Army Infantry School, his father said.
Ken Jaye said he wished to thank all the soldiers in his son’s unit for helping him get home alive.
Kevin Jaye, a 2005 graduate of Washington County Technical High School, is also the son of Karen Barnett of Smithsburg. He also has a 20-year-old sister, Megan Jaye.