PINEHURST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Friends and loved ones are stepping up for one of Fort Liberty's finest after an 82nd Airborne pilot was injured in the Christmas Day drone attack in Iraq.
Community members are asking people to help fund the soldier's recovery and salvage Christmas with a massive present for his son.
Friends say Lorna Illerbrunn and her husband Garrett, a pilot with the 82nd Airborne, are beloved in their Pinehurst community. Clio Carroll describes Lorna as the rock of her family. As for Garrett, she says:
"He's just a great, silly, fun family guy. Loves to fly, loves being in the Army, loves being a dad, loves being a husband."
She says it gave her goosebumps when Lorna told her that Garrett was one of three soldiers who had been hit in the attack on Christmas. Friends of the family say Garrett is now in a coma at a hospital in Germany with Lorna at his bedside. Garrett's injuries are a reminder of our soldiers' sacrifices.
"(B)eing willing to risk your life for that and knowing that you're keeping people at home safe, I think that mission is on everyone's heart," Carroll said.
Friends tell ABC11 Garrett is expected to pull through. In the meantime, they're drumming up support by raising money through a GoFundMe to make the Illerbrunn's home more accessible with things like ramps and rails.
As for the Illerbrunn's son, Tucker, friends are building a treehouse, the surprise Christmas present Lorna had in store for him. They say they hope that it will give him what he needs to hold onto his childhood.
"He loves to play outside, he loves running around the neighborhood with his friends and that's something we want him to lean into," Carroll said.
Friends say the GoFundMe is a show of gratitude for a family who's given up so much for their country:
"They are the kind of people who deserve the most help they could possibly get because they're the kind of people who would never ask," Carroll said.
To learn more on how to donate, you can visit the GoFundMe here.