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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mount Ayr graduate wounded in Afghanistan

Sgt. Seth KOTOUC, a 1999 graduate of Mount Ayr Community high school, was seriously injured in Afghanistan while serving in our military. According to reports, he is paralyzed from the waist down, but no further details were available at press time.

Seth's father, Jim KOTOUC, was director of the Ringgold County Recovery Center in the late 1990's and his mother, Evelyn, was an LPN.

He would appreciate hearing from people in Ringgold County.

Cards may be sent to him at:

ATTN: SGT Seth Kotouc
Walter Reed NMMC
Bldg 10 2nd Deck Room 2003
8901 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20889-5660

Send care packages and bigger items to Laura at:

Bethesda Marriott
Attn: Laura Kotouc
5151 Pooks Hill Road
Bethesda, MD 20814.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2012

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 08, 2012

New Address for Sgt. Seth Kotouc

Word has now been received that Seth HOTOUC, a 1999 MAC graduate who has been wounded in Afghanistan, has been transferred to a medical facility in Minnesota.

Please send future correspondence to:

Minneapolis VA Heath Care System
Spinal Cord Injury & Disorder Unit
ATTN: Seth Kotouc
1 Veteran's Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2012

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, October 29, 2015, Pages 1 & 9

Local injured vet Kotouc rebuilding life

Seth Kotouc, 34, a 1999 Mount Ayr Community graduate, was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2012 as part of his deployment with the 173rd Airborne Birgade Combat Team. Today, as they rebuild their lives three years later, he and his wife Laura hope to raise $5,000 to go towards the new wheelchair accessible home they are building.

In September 2012, insurgents launched a rocket attack on Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan where Seth was deployed with 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, then out of U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. A rocket lodged in the roof of the building where Seth was working and exploded. The resulting shrapnel pieces destroyed Seth's L2 vertebrae as well as went through the palm of his right hand. Seth's paralysis was immediately diagnosed as permanent.

Seth's paralysis has presented the Kotouc family with many challenges being building a home that is both accessible for Seth in his wheelchair and comfortable for their family home.

"We are trying to continue forward with building our life by getting our own home," said Laura in an introduction to a fund raising effort on redbasket.org. "We feel like we have been living in a string of temporary accommodations since September 2012."

The costs associated with building a home that is completely accessible for Seth is much greater than the Kotoucs had anticipated. They currently have an account on the online fund raising [Page 9] site Red Basket and hope to raise $5,000 through online and other donations to put towards a finished basement for Seth's physical therapy area. The Red Bsket account has only four days remaining and can be accessed at https://redbasket.org/641/a-home-for-the-kotoucs. Private donations may be mailed to Seth and Laura Kotouc, PO Box 97, Earling, IA 51530. There is no deadline for individual contributions.

"If we reach our goal," said Laura, "we will be able to finish our home in a way that will give Seth everything he needs in our house to move forward. He will have space for his physical therapy equipment. Our home will not have barriers that keep Seth from doing simple things such as washing dishes and brushing his teeeth." The changes they are hoping to make include a larger shower, hard surface flooring and zero entry.

"Every dollar helps," said Seth, "whether I know who it is by name or it's an anonymous donation. Having this money to pay for the materials to finish our basement means more than I can ever say. But whether someone can donate or not, all help is appreciated, or simply just prayers."

During the building process itself, Seth and Laura have a unique special request for their family and friends. "We would like to have letters, prayers, words of encouragement, whatever you send to have on the studs of our home," they said. "We will set aside time that anyone who wants to or is able to come and write onthe actual studs themselves. For those of you that are unable to make the trek, we would like you to send an email or a letter. We will make sure your message gets on the studs. The idea with this is that we will always be surrounded by our family and friends' thoughts, words of encouragement, prayers, love, and affection. You will all be able to be with us in our home this way. So far we have a few emails, letters, and cards, but not very many at all. Not nearly enough to go through out the home. So please, take just a few moments to do this for us; it is important to us and we're asking that you help us so we know that we are always surrounded by encouragement."

Seth and Laura may be reached via email at team_kotouc@live.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TeamKotouc.

Photographs courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015


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