Injured Wilkes County soldier is ‘doing really good’


Army Pfc. Jonathan Chance Cleary

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WILKESBORO, N.C. — A soldier from Wilkes County who was critically injured in an explosion in Afghanistan is recovering, although he faces months of rehabilitation.

Army Pfc. Jonathan Chance Cleary, who goes by Chance, is at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond.

“He is doing really good,” said his stepgrandfather, Martin Cheek of North Wilkesboro. “He’s doing all kinds of therapy. He’s doing physical therapy, occupational therapy. They’re working with his memory.”

Cleary, 20, was one of four soldiers in a vehicle struck by an improvised explosive device on May 6. The vehicle commander, Staff Sgt. Thomas Fogarty of Alameda, Calif., was killed in the blast, according to the Army.

When Cleary was sent to a military hospital in Germany, his father and stepmother, Lynn and Denise Cleary, and his mother, April Cleary, all flew to be with him. He was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on May 11 and was transferred to the VA hospital in Richmond about two weeks ago.

Cleary suffered head trauma and numerous broken bones, including bones in his face, and was in a coma for a number of weeks.

This article was written by Monte Mitchell and originally published by The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read the full story.

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