March 30 — The U.S. Marine who was critically wounded when shot with an M16 on a naval base in Georgia last week has been transferred out of the intensive care unit at a Florida hospital, and is continuing to recover, his mother said Sunday.
Josie Cary, mother of 19-year-old U.S Marine , said in a phone interview from the Shands Medical Center in Jacksonville, Fla., that Dan has been able to occasionally sit up in recliner chair in his hospital room, and has received a “steady stream” of visitors from his Kings Bay, Ga., Naval Submarine Base since undergoing a third surgery Friday morning.
One group of Marines from the base brought Cary a large American flag, which now hangs in his room, said Josie Cary. She and the Marine’s father, also named Dan, traveled from Gloucester, Massachusetts
“He’s slept through some of (the visits),” Josie Cary said of her son, adding that he is still very weak and, as of Sunday morning, unable to walk without assistance. The bullet from the M16 rifle entered his back and exited through his abdomen, causing significant damage to his intestines and spleen.
Josie Cary said doctors have told her that Dan will likely remain hospitalized for some five days after being removed from the ICU, which occurred Saturday night. Then comes an extended period of outpatient recovery and rehabilitation
“They (doctors) said that, if he wasn’t a young, strong Marine, he probably couldn’t have survived,” she added.
Josie said the support her son — a Gloucester native and 2013 graduate of North Shore Technical High School — has been getting has been “overwhelming,” both from the base and from Cape Ann.
She said the Jacksonville hospital is about a 50-minute drive from Kings Bay, and as fellow Marines have come to visit, she’s learned more aspects of the response to the shooting. She said some of her son’s fellow Marines ripped the door off a locker to create a makeshift transport stretcher, while one man tore off his shirt to use to try to stop the bleeding.
“They’re all so supportive of each other — just a great group of young people,” she said.
As to Cape Ann, Josie Cary said she “cannot believe” the response, through Facebook messages encouraging her son, and support for the family.
“Danny’s plans were always to return to Cape Ann — he loves it there, he loves the beach, he loves the fishing, he loves the people, and now we’re feeling the love right back,” she said, “I’ve receive hundreds of messages and responses from people I’ve never met and don’t even know. It’s like the saying goes, ‘it takes a village.’ That’s so true of the people of Cape Ann.”
Those comments also follow the news over the weekend that the nonprofit Gloucester Fund has joined in the effort to raise money for the Cary family.
Family and friends of Cary have set up a GoFundMe.com account to seek support for covering costs associated with visiting and assisting in his recovery.
But Barry Pett, who heads up The Gloucester Fund, said that some residents and others might like to make a tax deductible contribution to the effort.
“As such, The Gloucester Fund has opened an account for this purpose,” Pett said.
Pett noted that “100 percent” of the money collected through the fund will be passed on to the family. He said anyone seeking to make a tax-deductible contribution may do so by sending a check to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle St., Gloucester, MA 01930.
Contributors must include the name “” in the memo section to ensure that funds get directed to the proper account, Pett said.
Those seeking to help the Cary family may also contribute through the GoFundMe account.
Dan also continues to read messages from well-wishers on Facebook to pass the time, his mother said. Facebook users who want to wish Dan well can post using the hashtag, “#DanStrong,” so he can see it, even if he’s not direct friends with the poster.
U.S. Marine Corps spokesman, Capt. Stewart Coles, confirmed that Cary was shot last Tuesday “while preparing for a security drill.” The incident remains under investigation, Coles’ statement indicated. Josie Cary said she understands that the gun went off accidentally when one Marine was trying to transfer the weapon to another.
Here’s how to help support the Cary family’s expenses for visiting and assisting with his recovery:
The Gloucester Fund: To make a tax-deductible contribution, sending a check to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Include the name “” in the memo section to ensure that funds get directed to the proper account.
GoFundMe: Those seeking to help the Cary family may also contribute through the GoFundMe account at http://www.gofundme.com/
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