Dewayne Bunch retired from the Kentucky National Guard in 2008 after two deployments - one in Germany and the other in Iraq.
Bunch was awarded a bronze star during his time in the National Guard.
Troops at the Barbourville armory said he loves his community and his country. They are praying for his recovery.
"For that to happen to someone like Dewayne Bunch is devastating. In the National Guard, we are like a big family anyway. Even though he retired, we still consider him family. People keep up with him and talk to him," said Jon Peace.
Along with their National Guard service, Jon Peace and Dewayne Bunch are neighbors.