Riverside Military Academy President Col. William Gallagher will visit one alumnus who suffered serious injuries in a bombing this month in Afghanistan.
Wounded with more than a dozen fellow soldiers, Spc. Robert Healy spent many days in the intensive care unit following the blast at Bagram Airfield in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Four people were killed in the attack.
“His injuries consist of shrapnel wounds to the mid-section and his lower extremities. However, his doctors and his mom are optimistic that he’ll have a full recovery,” said Gallagher, who will travel to Walter Reed Military Medical Center in the District of Columbia.
In Gallagher’s tow will be a “quilt of valor,” a personalized piece of patriotism dedicated to Healy.
Peggy Johnson of the Gainesville branch of Quilts of Valor said the group has about 19 members that have made more than 250 quilts in the past two years.
Each is made to represent the service member’s branch and correlated colors. Healy’s quilt includes his graduation from Riverside, a way to “try to make it as personable for him, and he knows that we made it special for him,” Johnson said.
After the bombing, Gallagher said he saw an outpouring of support from Riverside alumni and the community.
“This is a perfect example of how the Gainesville community has embraced Riverside cadets,” he said.
With Healy being a 2012 graduate, much of the faculty and staff still remembered him and “had the utmost respect for him,” Gallagher said.
Healy is assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, one the Army’s “most storied and tradition-bound divisions,” Gallagher said.
“To excel in the (1st Cavalry) speaks very, very highly of Spc. Healy,” the academy president said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.