Coast Guard rallies around injured comrade

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 18:08:14-05

It is unfathomable for fellow Coast Guard members to think that someone would brutally stab and rob Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Smith while she was on vacation in Belize.

But as she recovers, her fellow Coast Guard members knew they had to do something.

Jennifer has been left paralyzed and is still hospitalized, following the attack in December. She is now being treated in Virginia.

While she is away, her Coast Guard family has volunteered their time to renovate her newly bought house in Utica. The home needed a lot of repair and Jennifer and her husband had planned to fix it up together.

“It’s been amazing,” said LTJG Nicholas Cosenza.  “We’ve had people who don’t even know her,  they just know she was a store keeper in Detroit that needed a lot of help.”

“Across the country from Hawaii, Alaska, all the way to Puerto Rico,” said CDR. Marshall Branch. 

The support for Jennifer goes behind the Coast Guard. Many people in the community and local businesses donated money and supplies to make the renovations possible.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her get back on her feet.

There are many well wishers who cannot wait for the day she will see her new home.

“Jenny we love you,” said CDR. Branch. “We’re going to take care of you and you will always be a member of Air Station Detroit’s team." 

The house is expected to be completed in about two weeks.