Published: Nov 22, 2011 11:03 PM EST
Updated: Nov 22, 2011 11:52 PM EST

NAPLES, Fla.- Friends and family of Lance Corporal Jonathan Carnes say they have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Gulf Coast High School grad stepped on an IED last week in Afghanistan and is now recovering in Washington D.C.

"He's probably one of the most caring people I know. He's the biggest goofball. He has the biggest heart," says longtime friend Heather St. John.

Carnes' lower right leg was amputated and his left leg has a number of fractures. But, through it all, Carnes isn't focusing on what he's lost, but what he's overcome.

"He is so positive about everything. What he said is this is just something in life that happened and it's not going to stop him from anything," St. John said.

Carnes graduated from GCHS in 2009 and the place where his friends will gather tomorrow night for a special event.

"It's a get together for everyone in Naples that knew him, that grew up with him, that went to high school, middle school with him," St. John said.

St. John has known Carnes since 6th grade. She says serving our country is always something he's wanted to do and something he'll continue.

"Once he's recovered he says he wants to get back in the marines so he's looking forward to starting his life again," St. John said.

Tomorrow's event is at Gulf Coast High School at 6:30 p.m. People are encouraged to bring letters, cards and care packages for Jon and his family as he continues his recovery in Washington D.C.