Cannon County solider shot 5 times in Afghanistan recovering - WSMV News 4

Cannon County solider shot 5 times in Afghanistan making a remarkable recovery

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A Cannon County solider who was clinging to life after being shot five times in Afghanistan last year has made a remarkable recovery.

Franz Walkup is back in the states for more surgery and rehabilitation, and he's drawing strength from his wife who has been by his side ever since.

They vowed to be together for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

"My wife Shannon has pretty much been with me from the start," Walkup said. "Seeing me again on life support, that's pretty much hard for any woman to handle."

Walkup and his wife didn't realize the words they spoke at their wedding would be put to the test so soon.

"She's stuck with it helping me to recover ever since," he said.

The Army Fire Support specialist was injured in Afghanistan last September during a gunfight.

"I was shot four times in the pelvic region and one time to the back," Walkup said. "Many people didn't believe I could make it."

But he did make it. Walkup is now recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He's made a remarkable recovery, and is able to stand.

For his bravery on the battlefield he received the Purple Heart.

"I had a trach (Tracheotomy) in at the time so I couldn't talk, and I was on a lot of pain medication," he said. "Thanks to my wife taking a lot of pictures I got to see the ceremony again."

The Cannon County native hasn't been short of visitors while in D.C. - Vice President Joe Biden and his family, Katy Perry and John Mayer and Miss America all stopped by.

But it's all the people who joined the support group Team Franz back home that he's looking forward to seeing.

"I can't wait to come home and see everyone who has been praying for me and supporting my families throughout these hard times," Walkup said.

Friends have started a Facebook page, Staying Strong for Franz, for folks to get updates on his condition.

An account has been set up to help the family with expenses. You can donate to Team Franz at First National Bank branches in Woodbury, Murfreesboro and Manchester.

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