Semper Fi Community Athlete runs Marine Corps Marathon to honor Grandfather, assist injured heroes

October 25, 2011
"Papa was some kind of a Superhero that disguised himself and went out to save the world when we grandchildren were not around."  
        Colin Norgaard discovered this as a boy while  rummaging through his grandfather's things. "I remember opening up that old steamer chest" he says, "to see medals, patches, an American Flag, and old photos of my "young" grandfather in his military uniform. It was truly a sight for my young eyes to discover that Papa was more than just a grumpy old man who told me what needed to be done for the ways of the world."
       PVT Wesley G. Norgaard served in the 4th Marine Division, 24th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Company I in the central Pacific at the Battle of Iwo Jima.  He put his life on the line to help his platoon survive one of the greatest victories this country ever accomplished.
       What follows is an excerpt from a letter Colin wrote, sharing with us why his grandfather is his inspiration for running the Marine Corps Marathon:   "For God and Country" I'd hear him say as he told me tear struck stories about the "Old Glory Days."   My grandfather told me these stories with passion in his eyes and a limp to his walk; reliving a piece of history.   Read the rest of this entry »

430 Miles…One Mission: Ride for Semper Fi founder celebrates achievements and reflects on lessons learned.

October 14, 2011

430 Miles...One Mission!   This week 68 cyclists (including 3 members of Team Semper Fi) are biking 430 miles from Scottsdale, Arizona to San Diego, California!  They are raising funds and awareness for the  Semper Fi Fund.  After more than 5 months of hard work and training, they plan to present these funds at the end of their journey.

What follows is Part II of an interview with Ride for Semper Fi Founder, John Greenway:

John,  this week marks the 4th anniversary for The Ride for Semper Fi.   Please tell us why you started the Ride for Semper Fi and share with us a little about your mission:

The Ride for Semper Fi began with the idea of giving back; bound by a common cause.  We ride to honor the heroes lost,  to support those injured, and for those who continue to bravely serve.  Our mission is to provide hope for our injured heroes.  We believe that hope breeds determination; determination leads to accomplishment, and accomplishment provides healing. 

 

As you celebrate more than 5 months of training and fundraising  and the beginning of a 430 mile journey,  please share with us a favorite memory from your previous rides.

This is the most popular question I have been asked.  The interesting thing is there are so many memories that I can't narrow it down.  I think most people who have done the ride would agree its more about what we have learned:

 
1.  The true meaning of sacrifice:   During our journey I have watched friends leave for multiple deployments and seen other young people come back terribly injured; this has changed my perspective on life. I have come to realize that my worst day sometimes is still better than the best day of a young person who is laying in a hospital somewhere away from their family.   Also, spending time with some of the Team Semper Fi Athletes has taught me the real meaning of sacrifice, and has given our team incredible inspiration.  

2.  Heroes come in all different  forms:  I always thought I knew what a hero was....an athlete...maybe a rock star...that's what I looked at when I was young.  Now, I realize that heroes are doctors, nurses, volunteers at the Semper Fi Fund....people who just quietly serve day in and day out with the purpose of serving and taking care others. I have also seen the heroes of the battlefield.  Spending time with Major Smith and Major Christian and others has shown me what a real hero is:  a real leader leads from the front and puts the needs of others above his/her own.

3.  Americans are great and giving people:  The news or some columnists would have you believe that patriotism doesn't exist anymore. My experience over the last four years says differently.  I have seen people wave flags as we ride by...I have had total strangers hug me and thank me for what we are doing.  I had an older gentleman walk up to me on the ride and tell me that he had been laid off for several months.  He said " I don't have much but I would like to give what I have."  He then pressed a 10 dollar bill into my hands.  People like these make our country different than others.....Americans give until it hurts.....then they give a little more.

So, in the end, its not about a favorite memory as much as it has been about the journey...what we have experienced, the memories we have built, and the life lessons we have learned.

1 Team, 1 Mission, 1Goal

For those who are new to The Ride for Semper Fi, how can they learn more and even get involved?

*  Read about  injured heroes who are riding 430 miles with us!

*  Check out all the other Events these heroes are involved in.

* Follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter.

* Contribute to our cause  and help us provide hope for our injured heroes!



5 Good Reasons to select Semper Fi Fund through Combined Federal Campaign

September 30, 2011

Are you a federal or state employee or a member of the military?    You have the opportunity  to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).   It is the only authorized workplace charitable giving drive for federal and state employees.   In fact, the CFC is the largest and most successful workplace fundraising campaign in the world!

Join us in supporting our heroes through the CFC and your spirit of public service will make the world a better place!

5 really good reasons to select The Semper Fi Fund for CFC

1.    The Semper Fi Fund is a top rated charity! We consistently receive the highest ratings from charity watchdog organizations like Charity Navigator and AIP.  Rest assured that your donation actually reaches those in need.    Costs are kept low and our injured heroes benefit directly from 95% of every donation.

2. Your contribution helps injured and critically ill service members and their families go on to lead lives of perseverance, courage and hope.  We direct urgently needed resources to post 9-11 Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces. See their Heroic Stories  here.

3.  Semper Fi Fund provides Assistance to our injured and critically ill heroes and their families in more ways than you may realize!  Learn more about the ways we help.



4.  You will help injured heroes embrace a fighting athletic spirit on their road to recovery with  Team Semper Fi.  Injured athletes who participate in this "Recovery through Sport" program inspire others to "stay in the fight" for their own recovery.

5.   Every dollar counts! Together through the CFC, members of the military, federal employees and state employees can make a difference in the lives of our heroes and their families!  

Want to help? 

You can find us in the  CFC Catalog under

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund - CFC # 11459

Need a little help remembering our CFC Campaign number? 

#11459 -The honor of supporting our injured is mine!

Check our website for more information on the Semper Fi Fund, and how you can make a difference by participating in the Combined Federal Campaign!

To Iraq and Back: One injured Marine adapts to a “new normal” in a post 9/11 world.

September 13, 2011
Justin Constantine and wife, Dahlia. Photo provided by JMU. 

With a single pull of a sniper's trigger, Marine Justin Constantine's life was forever changed.  Justin was shot on Oct. 18, 2006, six weeks after being deployed to Iraq. Thanks to his fellow Marines and the courage and skills of a U.S. Navy corpsman, Justin survived.  The Semper Fi Fund was honored to assist his girlfriend, Dahlia, with travel  so that she could be at his side throughout his recovery.  They have since married!  Now, nearly 10 years after 9/11 and five years after his injury, Justin has adapted to a "new normal," and he and Dahlia are working to help others do the same.

Justin Constantine, a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, has been awarded a Purple Heart Medal.   He is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project and also serves on a Congressionally-mandated Task Force for Wounded Warriors.

When asked about his recovery, Justin says "Although I can play golf and exercise and have successfully adapted to my "new normal;" the personal costs are significant and long-lasting. It has been five years since I was shot, and I cannot see out of my left eye, cannot always speak clearly, have difficulty running due to the missing bones in my legs, and periodically struggle with behavioral health issues, including not only PTSD but mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)."  Read more about Justin's recovery here.

"However, I am only one wounded warrior, and there are almost 44,000 just like me from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. That means 44,000 families uprooted with lives turned upside down and 44,000 warriors who will spend years reintegrating into society and adapting to their new normal."

This realization prompted Justin to turn his injury into something positive, and to use what he has learned to help other wounded warriors.   See his website,  To Iraq and Back, to learn how he began providing motivating t-shirts to our wounded warriors and their families while donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations like The Semper Fi Fund  who support and assist today’s American warriors.

With the anniversary of 9/11 upon us, Justin looks back and remembers the price paid by our wounded warriors, their families, and the relatives of those who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country.    He has found a sense of purpose in helping others find hope.

As we look back on 9/11, let us follow Justin's lead.  We too can find ways to remember and honor those who have served our country so that other injured heroes can look forward with hope and their own sense of purpose.  Join us as we serve those who have sacrificed so much in the name of our freedom! 

Here's how you can help: 

1. Learn more about Justin Constantine's inspiring story.  

2. Read about other injured Heroes in the News and share their stories on Facebook and Twitter

3.  Get involved in a Community Semper Fi Event, or host your own!

4. Help us honor all those who have served since 911 by Donating Now

Injured Marine and Team Semper Fi member, Brandon Pelletier, catches the eye of United States Olympic Committee.

August 18, 2011

Team Semper Fi member Brandon Pelletier

"Man, that kid is fast!"    While racing at the recent Warrior Games in May 2011, Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Pelletier caught the eye of members of the United States Olympic Committee.     Brandon's participation in Team Semper Fi, Semper Fi Fund's "Recovery Through Sport" program,  has allowed him the opportunity to train at an Olympic Training Center and compete with world class athletes.

Meet Brandon Pelletier:   He graduated boot camp during the summer of 2006, joined  3/23 Weapons Company based out of Austin, Texas, and deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as a Heavy Machine Gunner.  Brandon was injured during a night operation in the Al Anbar Province on Oct. 17, 2007.   His right arm was crushed at the elbow.   After several years of evaluations and multiple surgeries, Brandon has no feeling and is still unable to move it, though he is hopeful that he will be able to keep his arm.  Read more about Brandon's recovery here.

LCpl Pelletier

This trial has not kept Brandon down.   His determination and passion for running led him to become a member of Team Semper Fi where he attended a triathlon camp.    This opportunity opened a door for his future that he had never thought possible.   After competing in the Warrior Games  this past May, Brandon was offered the opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista Ca.   So began Brandon's journey to make the track team for the 2012 London Games!

Brandon Pelletier left this week for the Czech Republic to compete in his first international meet.   We are told that Brandon "continues to train hard and shave huge chunks off his race times."   We celebrate these successes with Brandon and look forward to cheering him on later this week at the Czech Open Championships!  Stay tuned for updates via Facebook and Twitter!

Learn more about Team Semper Fi's  participation in this and other events and how "Recovery Through Sport" is opening doors of opportunity for other injured heroes;  encouraging them to embrace a fighting, athletic spirit on their road to recovery.

There are other injured heroes, like Brandon, who are in need of the inspiration, opportunity and confidence that Team Semper Fi provides.    The Semper Fi Fund intends to meet this need.

Here's how you can help us continue serving those who have sacrificed so much in the name of our freedom:

1.  Share Brandon's story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!

2.  Donate Now  to "open doors" for injured heroes like Brandon who are also on the road to recovery!

The Ride for Semper Fi: Honoring heroes lost; Supporting our injured and those continuing to bravely serve in our military

August 6, 2011

Ride for Semper Fi

They train on the desert roads of Arizona as they prepare each year to make the 430 mile journey to San Diego.  Over the last three years the Ride for Semper Fi team has contributed more than $500,000 dollars to assist the Semper Fi Fund in its mission to improve the lives of those who have sacrificed and suffered injuries while serving our great country.  We recently interviewed John Greenway, the Ride for Semper Fi Chairman, to find out what makes this team so special:

1.  Tell us how the Ride for Semper Fi began.  The Ride for Semper Fi began in 2007 when I was asked to attend the boot camp graduation for my nephew LcCpl Jeff Turnage at MCRD in San Diego California.  I almost didn't go.  I thought I was too busy.   Had I not been convinced to attend I would have missed what has been one of the greatest opportunities of my life time.  I realize now that many times we can let the background noise of life interfere with the call of adventure and inspiration.

2.   You have said that you want to provide hope for our injured heroes.   Tell us how the Ride for Semper Fi accomplishes this mission.

Each year we ride in honor of heroes who have been lost in battle.  By paying tribute to those who are no longer with us we keep their memories alive and honor them by assisting those who were injured and still in need.

We also take team Semper Fi injured athletes with us on the journey.  This accomplishes two things.  First, it gives these injured heroes a chance to see that Americans truly care about them and are behind them.    Plus, the other riders get an up-close experience with those who have sacrificed.  They see touch and  feel how their efforts are helping others. 

For those who are injured we have found that the athletic challenge of riding 430 miles to San Diego shows them that their life has not ended with the injury.   They face difficulties on our trip and it is extremely difficult physically.  Just as in life, what they find at the end is that they climb the mountains...they go through the valleys and, with the help of those who care for them, they cross the finish line successfully.  The experience of finishing creates hope....hope breeds determination....determination leads to accomplishment...accomplishment leads to healing - that is our mission!

Our deepest gratitude to John, for sharing his experience and words of wisdom!  Want to learn more about The Ride for Semper Fi?  Here's how:

1.  Subscribe to our blog and be notified when we post part II of our interview with The Ride for Semper Fi chairman, John Greenway. 

2.  Learn more about The Ride for Semper Fi on their website and Facebook pages.

3.  Read inspirational stories about Ride for Semper Fi team members as they continue to train for the 430 mile ride coming up October 12th, 2011! 

Semper Fi Fund surpasses $50 million in assistance with over 31,000 grants to Injured and Ill Military

June 29, 2011

This historic achievement in the life of the Semper Fi Fund is truly proof of the love our country has for our Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen!  You have made it possible for the Semper Fi Fund to assist over 6,000 service members with 31,000 grants totaling over $50,000.000!

HM3 James Raffetto

It is with deep appreciation for you, our supporters, that we have been able to assist service members like HM3 James Raffetto, who has an infectious passion for the Navy, the Marines, and his family.   James worked with the Marines of 1st Recon out of California and bravely supported his Marine unit in Afghanistan until he was injured himself.   In August 2010, an IED blast caused injuries that resulted in the amputation of both of his legs above the knee, the amputation of his left arm at the elbow, and the amputation of three fingers on his remaining right hand.

James Raffetto - Skydiving

Now, not even a year since his injury, James is standing tall on his C-Legs, his newest prosthetics. They allow him to stand beside his friends, family and wife, Emily.   We celebrate with James as he continues to embrace life;  he and Emily recently celebrated their first anniversary, and James is pictured here while sky-diving!  What an inspiration for others facing life changing injuries to continue challenging themselves to greater "heights!"

We read that many Americans have grown weary of war; that’s okay, as NO institution is wearier of war than the American military. NO young warrior looks forward to multiple, back-to-back deployments to combat; however,  young warriors like Raffetto continue to go forward to do our nation’s bidding.

An incredible number of these heroes are returning with catastrophic wounds.    You may be surprised to learn that some of our critically injured heroes have been hospitalized for over a year now.   It is clear that these injured heroes will continue to require our assistance for years to come. 

In order to meet this challenge,  we will rely on you, our Semper Fi Fund Family, to keep spreading the word.  You can help us help those, like HM3 James Raffetto, who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.  Here's how: 

1. Participate, host or support others in Events.

2. Become informed about the kinds of Assistance we offer.

3. Be inspired by reading the latest on our Heroes page and Newsletter.

4. Increase awareness by sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

5.  Be a Hero for a Hero and Donate Now!

First Veteran to hold Ms. Wheelchair California title promotes Team Semper Fi – “Recovery through Sport” with Semper Fi Fund

June 15, 2011

Meet Corey Petersen, retired Marine Staff Sergeant,   Semper Fi Fund Community Outreach Coordinator, and a member of  Team Semper Fi, the "Recovery Through Sports" program of the Semper Fi Fund .  Corey was recently selected as Ms. Wheelchair California-2011.  Corey is the first Veteran to hold the title of Ms. Wheelchair California, and also claimed the title of  Ms. Congeniality!

Ms. Wheelchair California, 2011

Corey is not new to competition.  She has won Gold Medals at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games 2010 in Javelin, Shot put and bowling, and took home the Silver in handcycling.  Corey was the first female to compete in the wheelchair division of the San Diego Rock-N-Roll Marathon, finishing in 2:32.  She was also the 3rd female to finish in the wheel chair division of the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon.

In a recent interview, we discovered that Corey's approach to life has been key in her recovery and accomplishments.  Up close and personal with Corey Petersen:

Corey,  we are so proud of your accomplishments and want others to benefit from your experience and wisdom.

1.   You really encompass the true spirit of  Team Semper Fi.     Tell us who or what inspired you to embrace that fighting, athletic spirit to assist in your recovery?  Hmmm…I would love to say I had it prior to my injury.  I joined the Marine Corps because it was the hardest physically.  I want challenges in my life. Although this is a challenge I wouldn’t have normally wanted to face, I’ve tried to approach it that way.  Maybe it was the fact I had AMAZING support from my husband Brad,  my sister,  and my best friends Jessie and Morgan.   I also had an incredible physical therapist that never babied me.  That’s how I am able to be where I am today...independent and strong as I possibly can and never forgetting how lucky I am to have  what I have…that others out there have it worse.  I never forget that.

2.  What was the most difficult challenge you faced during your own recovery process and how did you overcome that challenge? I think it was harder for me to realize that I had to give up being an active duty Marine than [to give up] walking.  I had a set life plan in my head...but that wasn’t going to happen.  I got through it because of the Semper Fi Fund.  They gave me another purpose in life.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them. Yes they helped make our house accessible and helped in  other ways, BUT mainly they gave me a job and something to care about.  They gave me a purpose, I love the fund, I love our mission, I love the people I work for and with, I love being able to help those that are going through what I have been through and I love the sports I get to do.  I am extremely lucky to have the fund in my life.  I owe them SO much.

3.  You have shown that you won't let your injury hold you back from living life to the fullest.   What words of wisdom or encouragement do you have for others facing recovery from their own life changing injuries?  I think I would say that it does get better, there are ways to be independent, there are ways to stay active, there are ways to get a purpose back in your life.  Be grateful for what you have cause there are others out there that have it worse.  Get on with life and get involved in the amazing sports that Team Semper Fi  can provide.  The events are fun and you will meet others that have been through similar obstacles, have overcome them and regained the confidence to find a new purpose in life. 

My favorite saying is that "you can let the disability rule your life, get depressed and stay in bed,  but that would be so boring and just seems like a major waste of time, so GETUP and GET ON WITH IT!"

We appreciate you, Corey, for sharing your fighting spirit with others and for continuing to spread the word about the benefits of sports for rehabilitation.  You are an inspiration to   Team Semper Fi  members, Veterans, and others with disabilities.    We wish you all the best during  your reign as Ms Wheelchair California and look forward to cheering you on in your future endeavors!

Find out more about Team Semper Fi, and how you can get involved in "Recovery Through Sport" with the Semper Fi Fund. 

See more pictures and video of Corey. 

2011 Warrior Games – Competition with other Military Service Members gives an injured Marine his life back!

June 1, 2011

Warrior Games - 2011

On Armed Forces Day and after a week of intense competition, the Marine Corps was deemed the top overall performing branch and claimed the 2011 Chairman’s Cup for the second year in a row!

Congratulations to all the competitors; every participant took something home this week, but as for Joshua Wege of the Marines, he got his life back.

Wege reflected on the week saying, “It was great to get back into team sports. I was active in sports before I was injured and this opportunity has been so important to my family and me.  I knew if I could accomplish this I was going to be okay.”   Teammate Disbro echoed his positive remarks saying, “Everyone leaves here with confidence and goals, that’s what this week is really about.”

Sgt Lee Randles

Congratulations to all the Team Semper Fi  members who participated in the Warrior Games!  TSFmember Sgt. Lee Randles competed in the recent Warrior Games in track and field and swimming events.  Randles encourages his teammates with this advice:  “Life is only as good as you make it. Work hard and don’t quit.”    Read more  about Sgt Lee Randles and his inspiring story.

 

 

 

 

2011 Chairman's Cup Final Standings

      TEAM  MEDALS   POINTS
Marine Corps        73     131.4
Navy/Coast Guard        23      59.8
Air Force        12      43.2
Army        41      41
Special Operations         4      18

2011 Ultimate Champion Final Standings

    ATHLETE      TEAM    POINTS
Jonathan Disbro Marine Corps        16
Jeffrey Martin Marine Corps          9
Aaron Heldreth            Navy          7
Kenny Griffith            Army          6
Cogen Nelson Marine Corps          6
John Edmonston            Navy          4
Robert Laux            Army          4
Matthew Bilancia       Air Force          3
Landon Ranker            Army          3
Juan Guerrero            Army          2


Family honors the life of a World War II Army Air Corps Veteran with a Memorial Day Donation to the Semper Fi Fund

May 28, 2011

Robert and Tweetie Schwefel

Honoring a Veteran:

Robert Schwefel served our country honorably in World War II as a Army Air Corps Sergeant.  He met his beautiful bride, Tweetie,  while stationed in Greenville, South Carolina, for pre-war training.  They were soon married and after Robert's departure for the Indian Ocean, Tweetie gave birth to twin girls.  A WWII War Bond penny postcard delivered the good news to the new father.   After  the war, the Schwefel's did what so many "Greatest Generation" families did --- they worked hard, raised their family, saved for the future and passed on their love and dedication for our country to family and friends.

Robert and Tweetie were married for 51 amazing years.  Sadly, in 1996, Robert passed away and then this past November, Tweetie followed him at the age of 98. They left behind three loving daughters who carry on their parent's memory and love for our country.

Honoring our Heroes:

The Schwefel family has chosen to honor the memory of Tweetie and Robert this Memorial Day by giving a generous gift from their estate to the Semper Fi Fund. The donation will go to help those who have given so much in the name of freedom.

This Memorial Day, we honor and thank Robert and Tweetie and their family for remembering all those who serve and for making sure our nation's heroes are cared for in their time of need.

Would you like to share with us the story of a special Veteran in your life?   Please post your story here on our Blog, Facebook or Twitter!

Semper Fi Fund Celebrates 7 years of Supporting Injured and Critically Ill Service Members

May 17, 2011
Karen Guenther - Founder

Our story began in the spring of 2004.    Karen Guenther, a registered nurse at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital, sat at her kitchen table in base housing with a small but dedicated group of military spouses and pondered what could be done to help the growing number of service members and their families who had sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.  Their solution was the  Semper Fi Fund.

This week we celebrate 7 years of supporting injured and critically ill service members due to the extraordinary generosity of patriotic citizens across the country.  Together we have become a mighty team, a family, which is always faithful!

A letter from our Founder:

Dear Friends, Family, and Team,

Happy 7th Anniversary! It is with your love and support that we have been able to assist over 6,000 wounded service members and their families since our first day of operations (May 17th, 2004) with over $49.5 million in assistance and 30,000 grants!!  It is truly proof of the love our country has for our Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen!

Each and every one of you touches the lives of our wounded and critically ill service members and their families on their journey from hospital bedside to back home, to a new life full of promise and hope!  We are a family, a community.  Just look at what this mighty team has accomplished since our founding:

-6,000 service members assisted
-$49.5 million in support, 30,000 grants
-A+ rating from American Institute of Philanthropy
-4-Star rating from Charity Navigator

We are busier than ever with many newly wounded service members returning from Afghanistan, and we unfortunately continue to expect surges in injuries.  It will take continued and renewed effort over the coming years to ensure we are able to keep supporting these heroes.  God bless you all for your support, your prayers, and your love for our service members and their families!

Respectfully yours,
Karen Guenther
President, CEO, and Founder

Our mission is crucial, our duty is clear:   to provide critically injured and ill service members with immediate financial aid and quality of life solutions to lift the burdens of their new reality so each family can focus on their loved one’s recovery.   With the help of patriotic citizens like you, Semper Fi Fund will continue in the years to come to direct urgently needed resources to post 9-11 Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces.

Are you new to the Semper Fi Fund?  Want to make a difference?  Find out how you can help!

Are you a part of the Semper Fi Family?    Please share your story with us.   We want to know how the Semper Fi Fund has made a difference in your life, or in the life of someone you know.

Injured Marine receives keys to new home in Virginia. Congratulations to Sgt Kenny Lyon!

April 9, 2011

Congratulations Sgt Kenny Lyon on your new home!   The SFF is honored to be able to provide $25,000 to the construction of the home thru HFOT....as well as a new riding lawn mower for your yard!   Welcome home Marine! http://ow.ly/4wEE5

5 Ways You can Help our Wounded, Injured and Ill Heroes Today!

March 25, 2011

 They've given so much - now it's our turn.

Cpl Justin McLoud was three months into his third tour when he stepped on an IED on December 10, 2010. When the blast occurred he lost both of his legs above the knee and severely fractured his left arm.  However, due to the extent of the damage to his arm he opted to amputate it above the elbow on Christmas Eve.

Justin is a proud dad and one of the most important aspects of his life that helps motivate him in his recovery is being able to help raise his son.   The McLoud family will need help as they begin their journey of recovery and rebuilding their lives. 

The needs of our wounded continue to grow. It has been well publicized that many like Cpl Justin McLoud will need long-term assistance as they adjust to lives that are forever changed because of the extent of their injuries.  We can each make a difference for these heroes and their families during one of the most difficult times in their lives.  

 Here are just a few of the ways you can help:

1. Participate, host or support others in Events.

2. Become informed about the different kinds of Assistance we offer.

3. Be inspired by reading the latest on our Heroes in the news.

4. Increase awareness by sharing us with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

5.  Be a Hero for a Hero and Donate Now!

50 Wounded Marines chosen to compete in Olympics-style competition later this year.

February 23, 2011

Results are out!   Congratulations to 50 Marines who have earned a chance to compete in the Warrior Games to be held later this year.    Of the 50 Marines chosen to continue on in the Warrior Games, 25 will be competing as members of  Team Semper Fi

The USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment competition for the Warrior Games was held at Camp Pendleton.   The event was an opportunity for Wounded Marines to compete for a chance at besting other military personnel in an Olympics-style competition later this year.   After an opening ceremony, which highlighted their athletic abilities, the Marines, including veterans and members of the British Royal Marines and Dutch Marines, began practicing for a variety of games, including wheelchair basketball, volleyball, swimming, and archery. 

Thanks go to the Orange County Register  for this photo of Royal Marine, Nicholas Gibbons, participating in the event which was sponsored by the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment.   The WW Regiment provides facilities and non-medical care to combat and non-combat wounded, ill and injured Marines.   Its headquarters are in Quantico, Va., but also operates at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Our heartfelt congratulations go to all competitors who have earned a place in the Warrior Games Competition.   Special recognition goes to Team Semper Fi!   What an awesome accomplishment that 50% of all those selected to represent the USMC in the Warrior Games have come from Semper Fi Fund's own Team Semper Fi!   We wish you all the best of luck and happy training!  

Please let our Warrior Games Competitors know we will be cheering them on!   Leave your words of encouragement here!

MSgt Davey Lind, USMC (Ret) to represent Semper Fi Fund in TriWest’s “Shot at Glory” Phoenix Open

January 31, 2011

San Diego, CA to Scottsdale, AZ – Double leg amputee, MSgt Davey Lind, USMC (Ret), will compete in the Thunderbirds of Scottsdale’s staging of Waste Management’s Phoenix Open and TriWest Healthcare Alliance’s Fourth Annual “Shot at Glory,” on the famous 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale, Wednesday, February 2, 2011. The event will take place immediately following the conclusion of play of the Pro-Am.
Semper Fi Fund - MSgt Davey Lind, USMC (Ret)
MSgt Lind will be representing the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, one of four military charities designated by TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

 

The 2011 “Shot at Glory” will be a “Closest to the Pin” contest. The players will have the opportunity to win financial donations for their selected charities. The first place winner will be able to designate $60,000 to their charity, the second place winner will designate $35,000 and the third place winner will designate $20,000. In addition, if a participant hits a hole-in-one during the competition, $1 million will be awarded between the participant and the participant’s charities of choice (paid in the form of a multi-year annuity). Every participant’s charity will receive a minimum of a $1,500.

MSgt Lind lost both his legs after an IED exploded under his vehicle while serving in Iraq in 2007. He and his family received assistance from the Semper Fi Fund (SFF) shortly after arriving at Bethesda National Naval Hospital. The SFF has helped with many needs during his road to recovery, including assistance with home modifications and a modified vehicle, giving him back his independence.

MSgt Lind knows what it’s like to take on a challenge. The 20-year military veteran was a combat diver, free-fall jumper, and a Recon SNCO in Iraq. After losing his legs he was told it would take more than a year before he would walk on prosthetics … he did it in two months. He enjoys the challenge of golf and sees this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to play TPC Scottsdale’s famous 16th hole and help his fellow injured and critically ill Veterans.

We’ll be cheering MSgt Lind on and hoping for a hole-in-one!