(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Army Pfc. Brett Bondurant is well aware of all the effort being done in his hometown to recognize his sacrifice, and he appreciates every person involved.
That’s the message Bondurant’s family told a gathering of about 125 people at a candlelight vigil in Brett’s honor held at the War Memorial outside the Dearborn County Courthouse in Lawrenceburg Sunday evening.
On September 28, the 20-year-old Lawrenceburg High School graduate was on patrol in Afghanistan when his unit was caught in the blast of an improvised explosive device, or IED. He lost each of his legs near the knee and suffered burns to his arms. He received the Purple Heart earlier this month.
The vigil featured music, prayers, and words from Brett’s family.
“(Brett) appreciates everything that everybody has been doing. The churches, the schools, family, friends, and people he doesn’t even know or has never met. And he said, ‘I just can’t express enough how much I appreciate everything,’” said his grandfather, Jerry Bondurant, a Vietnam veteran.
“I wanted to thank everybody for everything that they’ve done. It’s been unbelievable,” Brett’s mother, Janelle Bondurant Krabbe, said. She is currently back in Lawrenceburg after visiting Brett to help her other two children.
Brett and the family have received an estimated 2,000 cards at home in Greendale and at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where Brett is recovering.
Janelle said Brett was planning to get married to his fiancée, London Grimes, in January, but has now moved that date to come sooner - November 5. The couple will wed in Texas, but will have a larger celebration back in the tri-state later.
A chaplain read the names of other soldiers in Bondurant’s unit who were hurt in the same IED blast: Staff Sgt. Robert Geer, Pfc. Kevin Brewington, and Spc. Christopher Haley, a senior medic who lost one of his own legs while rushing to the aid of Brett and the others.
Near the end of the vigil, the people in attendance stood in a large circle spanning the courthouse lawn as live music played.
“He said ‘I’m no hero. I just did my duty and I would do it again,’” Jerry Bondurant said.