Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Prosperie may be part of an elite musical ensemble, but for now, at least, he'll be recognized as the guy who got hit by a mis-thrown ax flung by a Fox News host (and combat veteran) on live television.
As "Fox and Friends Sunday" headed to a commercial break June 14, Prosperie and fellow members of the West Point Band's Hellcats ensemble provided the background music while co-host Pete Hegseth prepared for what a fellow anchor described as "a battle with the lumberjacks" by throwing an ax at a red-and-white target painted on a wooden barrier about 8 feet tall.
In what could be considered a logistical misstep, the wall was positioned between Hegseth and the musicians. Hegseth missed high, and the ax cleared the barrier and headed for Prosperie, hitting him "broadside on the outer elbow with significant impact and a couple of cuts as it fell along my wrist," he wrote on in a Saturday Facebook post.
"It could have been much worse or fatal," he continued.
Prosperie's fellow drummers played on. The live broadcast didn't show or mention the ax hitting Prosperie, not even when Hegseth interviewed the drummer in the next segment.
A video posted by Prosperie on Facebook does show the impact; the original has been viewed nearly 200,000 times, but versions on YouTube and news outlets like CNN likely have reached millions more viewers.
Prosperie is "[focusing] on full physical and mental recovery," he wrote on Facebook last week. A U.S. Military Academy spokesman said Tuesday that Prosperie didn't wish to comment further.
Attempts to reach Hegseth — a decorated combat veteran with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry officer, according to his CEO bio at Concerned Veterans for America — were unsuccessful.