On November 26, 2010, United States Marines Sergeant Gabriel Martinez and Corporal Justin Gaertner saw their lives irrevocably altered in a split-second, a moment that would forge a life-long bond. Today, for the first time in four years, the friends had a chance to reunite, thanks to The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation and Celebrity Fight Night. Here is their story. Read the rest of this entry »
“I had my digging knife with me,” says Staff Sgt Mark Zambon, recalling July 5, 2012, the day he reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. “I got to the top of the mountain, found an isolated spot on the rim of the volcano crater and dug a hole. The last time the knife hit dirt before that was Afghanistan soil.” Read the rest of this entry »
“For the first couple of years we were together, we didn’t spend Valentine’s Day with each other,” said Courtney Carnes, who met her husband Garrett in 2008. “I don't think we spent a Valentine’s Day together until 2013—Garrett was either deployed or working or we were in different parts of the country.” Read the rest of this entry »
“I had a bad day at work,” Cedric says, recalling July 25, 2012—the day he stepped on an IED. “My bad day at work just happened to be a day that changed my life. Someone has a bad day at work, they lose their job; I kept my job, but I lost my legs.” Read the rest of this entry »
Bernard joined the Navy in 2000 and, after studying aviation structural/hydraulics, deployed to Afghanistan twice with SEAL Team 3, first shortly after 9/11, and for a second time in 2003. His service took him to Japan, to California, and, in 2008, to Iraq for two deployments – he was injured by a car bomb in Sadr City in December 2008. Read the rest of this entry »
“Just because I’m blind doesn’t mean I don’t have vision. I believe God kept me alive for a reason, and that’s to tell my story.”
So says Marine Corporal Matthew B — the first blinded amputee in history to re-enlist in the Corps.
Matt’s story begins in Petersburg, Virginia, where he was born; and in Winchester, Kentucky, where he was raised. He was always interested in sports, playing baseball until he was 13 and starting with basketball during his freshman year of high school. Read the rest of this entry »
“I want people to know that we are at war, and we still have guys getting injured all the time,” said Nancy, the mother of Corporal Cody S. “The day after Cody was injured, I did an interview—I wanted people to know that this is happening. I don't think people are really aware. All these guys need support.”
Born and raised in North Carolina, Cody was planning on being a missionary before he enlisted in the Army.
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Shurvon was finishing a patrol in his HUMVEE returning to base when it was hit by an IED in May of 2005. All were injured, but Shurvon was most serious. He suffered a broken left leg, lung blast, six broken ribs, and his jaw was broken in four places. Six days after Shurvon’s brain was deprived of oxygen resulting in his traumatic brain injury. Shurvon is now paralyzed and is unable to communicate with speech. Read the rest of this entry »
“Life is a teacher. It will give you the tools to solve every problem that comes up.”
When most people see a service member in a wheelchair or with a prosthetic limb, they can quickly begin to understand the sacrifices made by that service member on behalf of all Americans. 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 »
Born in Los Angeles and currently living in a suburb of San Diego, Marine Corporal Jose A. always wanted to join the military.
“My grandfather served in the Army,” he said. “I grew up with him talking about that, and it really interested me. As I got older, I saw that the Marine Corps was the most challenging branch, so I enlisted right out of high school.”
“I wanted to do something I could be proud of,” Jose continues. “I couldn't think of anything better than the Marine Corps: It represented honor and courage, and that's what I wanted.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Home Depot Foundation is giving back to our veterans and the Semper Fi Fund has joined forces with Team Depot during this giving season. Click here to read the official rules of the giving campaign http://thd.co/give and read below to enjoy an incredible hero story.
“My wife was an expert in all things Semper Fi Fund before I even gained consciousness,” says Master Sergeant John H., referring to his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in early 2011. “The Semper Fi Fund, with support from the Home Depot Foundation, has done more for me than anyone else.” Read the rest of this entry »
In mid-2011, Marine Staff Sgt. Liam D was at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He was recovering from a May 22 IED blast in Afghanistan that claimed his left leg, and among the many thoughts that raced through his mind was this one:
“I will drive again—and I will win.”
Three years later—almost to the day—Liam did indeed win, Read the rest of this entry »
“Any Marine who comes home in one piece makes me the happiest person in the world”
Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and raised in Blythe, California, Jacob grew up like most kids: He was into sports, playing football and baseball with his friends and football and wrestling when he got to high school.
“I enlisted in the Marine Corps halfway through my senior year of high school,” Jacob said. “I always knew I would go into the military because I didn’t have the desire to go to college. I joined the Marine Corps mainly, though, because my father said I couldn’t and his brother was a Marine. Now my brother is becoming a Marine—and my dad is the odd man out, being in the Army!”
Jacob was assigned to 3rd Battalion 7th Marines based out of Twentynine Palms, California. In 2011, he deployed to Sangin, in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, described in 2010 by British newspaper The Guardian as "the deadliest area in Afghanistan." Read the rest of this entry »
“I still don’t feel like I did that much,” Nathan told the Midtown Raleigh News in 2013, “but everyone keeps saying that I did. So, I’m starting to believe them, I guess.”
What Nathan did, of course, was what thousands of service members in all branches of the military do each and every year for all Americans: He placed his life on the line and made a personal and physical sacrifice the depths of which most of us can scarcely imagine. Read the rest of this entry »