A Marine from Perry County is among four wounded veterans killed in Texas last evening when a freight train slammed into a parade float.
37 year old Sergant Major Gary Stouffer enlisted in the Marine Corp right out of college. He served in Albania, Kosovo and two tours in Iraq. During a tour in Afghanistan an IED hit his vehicle during a resupply mission.
Stouffer was thrown inside the vehicle but the extent of injuries were not known until he returned to the United States. After nine months of tests, he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and compression fractures in his neck and lower back.
Two years after the explosion, he was still undergoing speech and physical therapy, while waiting to find out if he had to take a medical retirement or could stay in the Marines on limited duty.
Stouffer, who lived in Newport, Perry County also was waiting for approval for a Purple Heart. He had been married to his wife, Catherine, for 16 years and had two children, Shannon, 16, and Shane, 12.
Stouffer was among a group of wounded veterans who travelled to Texas for an organized hunting trip to honor their service to the nation.
"I have always enjoyed the outdoors and how it makes me feel," he wrote, adding that, "It has always been a dream of mine to hunt in Texas."