When Jeremy Voels was ordered to Afghanistan last summer, his 12-year-old stepsister cried for a couple of days, afraid something bad would happen to him.
It did. As he headed off rotation at an outpost and took off his bulletproof vest, a sniper shot Voels in the spine.
But his stepsister, Taylor Voels, stopped crying and then some, even though she broke her leg working in a horse barn.
She organized a fund drive at her school in Montville, Leonard J. Tyl Middle School. In a ceremony on Tuesday at the school, she and her friends presented Voels' wife with more than $1,500 in gift cards and merchandise.
He replied in a recording from the hospital, thanking the students and hoping to visit the school and meet them some day.