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 »

Protected: Corporal Matthew Bradford, USMC

Bradford and wife
July 25, 2013

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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 »

Protected: Corporal Cody Stanton, USA (Ret.)

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June 2, 2013

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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 »

Corporal Gabriel Martinez, USMC (Ret.)

Gabe-and-family
April 23, 2013

Corporal Gabriel Martinez and his wife, Kayla, were married only three months before Gabe was deployed to Afghanistan with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB) in October 2010. Just one month later, on Thanksgiving Day, Gabe called Kayla with the devastating news that he had been injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast and medevaced out with one of his best friends. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing our stories: BJ Ganem

BJ Ganem
April 20, 2013

William “BJ” Ganem served four years on active duty in various capacities. At the end of his first enlistment in 2000, he decided to leave active duty but stay in the ready reserves by joining with Gulf Co 2nd BN 24th Marines located in Madison, WI. He was working as a District Sales Manager for Kraft Foods in May 2004 when his unit was called to serve in support of operations in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing our Stories: Lance Corporal Ronny Porta

Ronny Porta and Son
March 24, 2013

On May 7, 2007, longtime friend of the Semper Fi Fund, Lance Corporal Tony "Ronny" Porta, sustained severe injuries as a result of an IED blast while conducting operations in Al Anbar Province, to include the amputation of his right arm and 65% body burns to his upper body. Ronny was in very critical condition when he first arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in Texas, and the Semper Fi Fund immediately stepped in to assist Ronny's family. We provided family support grants to fill the gap caused by lost wages so that Ronny's family could focus entirely on the recovery process.

The Semper Fi Fund is devoted to providing a lifetime of assistance for the life-long needs of our nation's heroes, like Ronny. Over the past five years, Ronny has undergone over 120 surgeries, and the Semper Fi Fund has been there every step of the way. Read the rest of this entry »