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 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 »
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 »
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 »
On April 07, 2004, Sergeant Eddie Wright was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade during an ambush in Fallujah, Iraq. The citation for Eddie's Bronze Star, with Valor Device, reads:
"…Despite losing both hands and sustaining severe injuries to his leg, Corporal Wright was the epitome of composure, understanding the severity of his own injuries, he calmly instructed others on how to remove the radio, call for support, and render first aid. Read the rest of this entry »
Corporal Tyler Southern Tyler was on his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 when he lost both of his legs above the knees and his right arm above the elbow after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The Semper Fi fund offered Tyler family support grants when he was first hospitalized so that his family could remain by his side during recovery.
Tyler retired from Active duty on September 21, 2012 in front of a large crowd of family, friends, and fellow Marines at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »
Several of our catastrophically injured service members have started down their new path of life after months of rehabilitation. They still have desires to be independent and do the things they once did, but they are now limited due to the loss of multiple limbs. A new path of life requires a new method of transportation, and that is why the Semper Fi Fund assisted these Marines with a dream machine: a wheelchair with a track instead of wheels. Read the rest of this entry »
Lance Corporal Rudolfo Moreno was injured in August of 2011 while on patrol with 1st Battalion 6th Marines in support of OEF in Helmond Province, Afghanistan. Rudolfo was the Gunner on an MATV when it hit an improvised explosive device. He suffered numerous injuries, to include a bilateral ankle and heal fracture, a right femur fracture, and a traumatic brain injury. Since the injury, Rudolfo has endured eleven surgeries (with more pending) and countless hours of both occupational and physical therapy. Read the rest of this entry »
Last August, Navy Petty Officer Taylor Morris was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" in a ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for his exceptionally valorous conduct on May 3, 2012 while serving with the Special Operations Task Force at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, where he sustained catastrophic injuries to all four limbs. After receiving the medal, Morris said, "I just want to say one thing if I could: If I had hands, I'd take this off and pin it on Danielle, because she's helped me through everything, and it's been so hard. She's been there the whole time." Read the rest of this entry »
Sergeant Shurvon Phillip was finishing a patrol and returning to base in his HUMVEE when it was hit by an IED in May of 2005. All service members in the vehicle were injured, but Shurvon's injuries were the most severe. He suffered a broken left leg, lung blast, six broken ribs, and his jaw was broken in four places. Six days after the incident, Shurvon's brain was deprived of oxygen, resulting in his traumatic brain injury. Shurvon is now paralyzed and unable to communicate with speech. Read the rest of this entry »
The Semper Fi Fund sends our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Navy Musician 1st Class Kenneth Fennell. On December 24, 2012, Kenneth passed away after a yearlong battle with a grade-four glioblastoma, (an inoperable brain tumor). Kenneth is survived by his wife, Bridgit, and their two children, John Christian (J.C.) and Emily. Read the rest of this entry »
Marine Corporal Todd Love is a third-generation Marine who served in Afghanistan with the 1st Recon out of California. On October 25, 2010, Todd was the point man on a foot patrol when he triggered an IED. He suffered the loss of both his legs above the knee and had severe damage to his left hand, resulting in amputation.
Todd retired from the Marine Corps on September 29th, and the Semper Fi Fund helped with a transition grant to relieve the financial pressure of adjusting back into civilian life. Read the rest of this entry »
In March of 2005, Sergeant Eric Frazier was shot in the back several times, resulting in spinal cord injuries. Although it has been a long road to recovery, Eric has been an unstoppable inspiration for many people with his continuous strive to better himself. He has been part of the Semper Fi Fund family since he was injured, competing alongside our Team Semper Fi members in handcycling and wheelchair basketball. As Eric gained strength and confidence during his recovery, he became an elite athlete and now competes on the US Paralympic Nordic Ski Team. We look forward to seeing him in Russia in 2014! Read the rest of this entry »
Chief Warrant Officer (CWO3) TaMarsh Thompson is an Apache helicopter pilot in the United States Army and has been serving his country for eighteen years. TaMarsh was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan serving in the line of duty when he was involved in a helicopter crash on March 22, 2012 and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.
TaMarsh was surrounded by his loving family from the time he arrived at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »
Staff Sergeant Courtney "Corey" Petersen (Ret.) was injured in 2007, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. During her month-long stay in intensive care, The Semper Fi Fund assisted Corey's husband to ensure that he had the resources needed to care for his wife.
"Sometimes you can do everything right, plan, take safety precautions, and accidents will still happen. Read the rest of this entry »