Specialist Four Tyler Jeffries, U.S. Army

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March 3, 2014

Growing up in Zephyr Hills, Florida, Tyler Jeffries seemed to be on a fast track to living every young boy’s dream. With the ability to throw an 87-mile-per-hour fastball in high school, Tyler had a promising college baseball career in front of him. A spot on a major league team seemed well within reach.

Then he tore his UCL in his elbow—his ulnar collateral ligament. The injury was devastating to his baseball dreams. He had to start thinking about alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »

In their own words – a service member’s word of thanks

March 3, 2014

Dear Semper Fi Fund,
I can't thank you enough for all that you have done for me and my family. You have given so much selflessly and that means so much to me. Because of you guys and the grants you have given me, I am able to stay in school and maintain an A/B average.

Thank you for all that you do for our MARINES!

Thanks and SEMPER FI!

10 Questions for a Marine with Prosthetic Legs Bicycling Cross-Country

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March 2, 2014

Riding Across the United States - Marine combat engineer Rob Jones was serving in Afghanistan in 2010 when an improvised explosive device claimed both his legs. Now 28 and fitted with a pair of prosthetic legs, Rob is bicycling cross-country to give back to the charitable organizations that he says, “were there for me in my darkest hours.” He began his journey October 14 in Bar Harbor, Maine, and hopes to raise $1 million by the time he reaches San Diego, California. Read the rest of this entry »

In their own words – a service member’s word of thanks

March 1, 2014

"Thank you and your organization once again from the bottom of my heart. I don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself, but this is truly a blessing during rough times while I continue my treatment. I also thank you for the gas cards. That will be a huge, huge help getting back and forth to my treatment and medical appointments. Thank you so much again. I really need it and I really appreciate the assistance.
As Always,
Thank you"

Corporal Yuriy Zmysly, USMC (Ret.)

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February 14, 2014

U.S. Marine Corporal Yuriy Zmysly met his wife-to-be Aimee on October 6, 2004, right after he returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan. Aimee was just beginning her freshman year of college and it was love at first sight. They were engaged on January 23, 2005, just two days after Aimee’s birthday. He gave her a ring box, but it was empty. When she looked up, he was holding the ring and asked her to marry him.

They never got to have their dream wedding, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Corporal Eric Lyons, USMC (Ret.)

Cpl. Eric Lyons, USMC (Ret.) 4
January 21, 2014

Now retired from the Marine Corps, Corporal Eric Lyons grew up in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He played football and lacrosse in high school and was 20 when he enlisted in the Corps.

He served with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines (the 2/9, known as Hell in a Helmet) based out of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, and was an infantryman with Fox Company. Read the rest of this entry »

Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle, USMC (Ret.)

SSgt. Jesse Cottle, USMC (Ret.) and his wife Kelly in their iconic photo that was seen around the world in 2013
December 11, 2013

We wouldn’t be at all surprised to find this photo of Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle and his wife Kelly on many “best of 2013” lists. It’s a remarkable illustration of service and love—and the Semper Fi Fund is honored to have played a small part in it.

Jesse joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and served three deployments as a radio operator in Iraq. He transferred to an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team, spent two years in Japan, and was deployed to Afghanistan in February 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

In their own words – a service member’s word of thanks

December 10, 2013

"Thank you and the Semper Fi Fund for the Emwave and the Alpha Stim devices. The generosity and follow through to get me the gear is much appreciated. It is very rare to find both of these qualities, of giving and tenacity, today and proves that the Semper Fi Fund is a great organization. These two devices help me daily deal with symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and chronic Post Traumatic Stress. Know that these expensive devices are utilized often and make a huge difference for me. My family also thanks you. My mood is definitely improved with the use of these items.”

Corporal Anthony Sanza, USA (Ret.)

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December 9, 2013

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From July 2007 through June 2008, Corporal Anthony Sanza was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a sniper attached to the 1st Marine Division. He brought home stories that would impress and amaze Ashley, the woman he married on September 4, 2010. He also brought home a very rare form of cancer.

When he first returned stateside, Anthony was being treated for post-traumatic stress, Read the rest of this entry »

In their own words – a service member’s word of thanks

December 8, 2013

“Semper Fi Fund paid to get my service dog Phoebe. In the short time we have had Phoebe, it already feels like we've had her from the very beginning. She has been a perfect addition to our family. Semper Fi Fund has never hesitated to help our family when we have needed the help and we'll be forever grateful.”

Corporal Josh Sams, USMC (Ret.)

Josh Sams and Lindsey engagement
December 7, 2013

Josh Sams was born in 1984 in Wilmington, Ohio. The oldest of three children, Josh has two brothers, Cory and Logan. He attended Wilmington High School, where he ran track and played football, baseball and lacrosse.

After graduating in 2004, Josh attended Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. He continued his athletic career, playing outside linebacker Read the rest of this entry »

Lance Corporal Sean Carroll, USMC (Ret.)

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November 13, 2013

Sean Carroll is pretty much like any other 29-year-old you might come across. He’s proud of his car (he owns a Mustang), he enjoys the outdoors (hunting and hiking), and he’s working on returning to school (Metro State in Denver).

Except most 29-year-olds you might come across won’t be former Marines who spent three months in a coma after being hurled 30 feet by an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in Ramadi, Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

Chief Warrant Officer Second Class David Ortiz, USA (Ret.)

David Ortiz
July 4, 2013

Chief Warrant Officer Second Class (CWO2) David Ortiz, US Army helicopter pilot, was completing a combat mission in Khost, Afghanistan on June 21, 2012 when his OH58D Kiowa Warrior experienced engine failure. David was one of just a few unit members to have survived the helicopter crash. Six days after the accident, David arrived at Walter Reed and was hustled into emergency surgery, and has been in and out of the hospital ever since working through a spinal cord injury. Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing Hope to Boston

Hailey and TSF
May 25, 2013

Hailey Danisewicz recently teamed up with some of our injured service members to bring hope those wounded in the Boston bombings. What she found in return will stay with her for a lifetime. Read about her experience in this entry from her blog:

There are certain days in history that remain etched in our minds forever- events that we can recall with vivid detail years after they occur. For me, Monday April 15, 2013 will always be one of those days. Read the rest of this entry »

Service Members Reunite with New Friends in Boston

Gabe Martinez and TSF in Boston
April 26, 2013

A group of injured service members from Team Semper Fi returned to Boston this weekend to revisit with the patients injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. Service member Gabe Martinez reunited with his new friends, Celeste and Sydney, and their special friendship is just one of the many reasons the Semper Fi Fund was inspired to create the America's Fund Mentors program: A new program through which our veterans will mentor those who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing and accompany them through their rehabilitation, providing hope and encouraging success along the way to recovery. Read the rest of this entry »