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 »
"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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
"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.”
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, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and a variety of physical injuries to his back, knees, shoulders and ankle. Then came the stomach pains. Read the rest of this entry »
“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.”
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 »
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 (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 »
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 »
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 »