On April 6, Kelly Hunt (MS/C&I ’08), a public diplomacy officer with the U.S. State Department, was severely injured in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. The deadly attack, which killed six people including U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, took place when Hunt and her group were walking from a military base to deliver books to a nearby school. Hunt’s injuries were severe with a skull fracture, shrapnel wounds and a broken hand.
Her mother, Dinah Hunt, has posted periodic updates on her recovery; however, the progress is expected to be slow. Hunt remains at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC. A fundraising site has been set up for Hunt, and, although the fundraising goal has been met, you are still encouraged to make a contribution (Climbing for Kelly, http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/climbing-for-kelly/52529#.UWgfha1GQ5M.email).
Hunt has been a public diplomacy officer with the State Department since July 2012. During her time at UT, she was the School of Journalism and Electronic Media’s first webmaster. She also worked for the Knoxville News Sentinel as both an intern and employee.
In the May issue of the State Department’s magazine, one of Hunt’s co-workers, Isaac Pacheco, discusses her continuing battle for recovery: “There is little that can blunt the breath-robbing blow that news of this magnitude delivers, but I remain optimistic that Hunt’s passion for life, which drove her to reach out and try to make a positive difference in the lives of others, will also fuel her recovery.”