A soldier from Laurinburg was shot by a sniper while serving with his Army unit in Afghanistan Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. TJ Ivey was wounded by a bullet while at a forward operating base near the Pakistani border, according to his father, Laurinburg resident Tim Ivey.
A jump master and member of the Bamberg, Germany-based 173rd Airborne, Ivey is on his third tour of duty. He is a 2005 graduate of Scotland High School.
“I talked to TJ a little while ago, and they are going to move him out of Afghanistan to Germany,” Ivey’s father said.
Tim Ivey received a call about mid-day on Tuesday from his son’s captain telling him that “he had been hit by a sniper.”
“It was a relief to hear that he was just hit in the leg, as bad as that still is.”
According to Tim Ivey, the bullet passed completely through his son’s leg.
“TJ said that it hurt really bad, but that he thought he would be fine.”
Ivey’s father said that his son mentioned that the sniper had been “trying to shoot at them all month” from a hill overlooking the base.
“He even said that ‘he just missed me’ a couple of times.”
“The base basically consists of shipping containers stacked two high in a big circle around the men who are there,” Tim Ivey said.
The Army dealt with the sniper, according to the elder Ivey, by calling in an Apache helicopter and an A-10 Warthog and “eliminating the hill” from which the sniper was firing.
Ivey’s responsibilities include regular foot patrols of the area surrounding the forward operating base, his father said.
A varsity football player at Scotland High School, the 25-year-old received a scholarship to play at North Carolina Wesleyan.
“He went there and after his first year in 2006 decided that he wanted to join the Army,” said Ivey’s father. “He’s been jumping out of planes ever since.”
Ivey’s father said that the responsibility of notifying his son’s wife, a German named Janina, fell to him.
Ivey’s other family includes his mother Lisa Sellers, as well as his grandparents Joann and Curtis Hester along with Gene and Sue Ivey.
Ivey has two brothers named Travis and Doug. Doug currently serves in the Army and is based in Seattle.
Less than a day after being wounded, Ivey’s father said that his son is already planning on returning to his unit.
“All he could talk about was rehabbing in Germany, which could take months, and then getting back (to his unit).”