Copty said his phone rang often and Facebook filled up with messages today inquiring about his former classmate, and he feared he was dead.
"We are especially thankful to our friend and incredibly proud of him," he said. "Most of all we are worried about him and are all praying and hoping for a speedy recovery."
Copty quoted Virginia Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson who said after he was accidently shot and lost an arm at the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863: "The Institute [VMI] will be heard from today."
"In this spirit, 'Dic' serves his community and risks his life to help people," said Copty. "He stands among an elite cadre, thousands strong, sacrificing and risking to make their communities a better place. All of his VMI family's thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as we wait for word on his condition."