Staff Sergeant Andy Robinson, USMC (Ret.)

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May 15, 2014


FROM DAY ONE... AND FOR A LIFETIME

“Military life changes a person,” says Andy Robinson. “Combat changes a person.”

Andy, a Marine Staff Sergeant who served with the 1st Intelligence Battalion based out of Camp Pendleton in San Diego,California, was changed by combat in some of the most profound ways imaginable. He was on patrol in al-Anbar Province in Iraq on June 20, 2006, when insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device beneath his truck. Read the rest of this entry »

Sergeant Chris Fesmire, USMC (Ret.)

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May 15, 2014

Born and raised in a Philadelphia suburb, Chris had just left Penn State when he decided to join the Marines. “I wanted to get out and see the world,” he said. “I wanted some excitement and adventure.”

On October 10, 2004, Chris was on security patrol in the al-Anbar Province of Iraq. It was his fourth deployment. The Humvee he was in hit an anti-tank mine and claimed both his legs. Read the rest of this entry »

HM3 Joe-Dan “Doc” Worley, USN (Ret.)

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May 15, 2014

Joe-Dan enlisted in March 2003 about a year-and-a-half after getting married. He turned 22 during basic training and deployed to Fallujah in Iraq on March 1, 2004. On September 17, 2004, he stepped on an IED while running to help others in his convoy. Read the rest of this entry »

Captain Chris Ayres, USMC (Ret.)

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May 15, 2014

Chris enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1995. Nearly a decadelater, in April 2004, a
rocket grenade attack in Fallujah nearly claimed his life. Shortly thereafter, at 34 years of age, he became the very first beneficiary of assistance from the Semper Fi Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

Staff Sergeant Octavio Sanchez, USMC (Ret.)

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May 15, 2014

Growing up in Fontana, California (east of Los Angeles), Octavio was intrigued by service professionals such as police officers, firefighters and military.

He enlisted in August 1998 after graduating high school, and re-enlisted in 2001.

On June 16, 2005, during his first combat deployment (to Ramadi in Iraq), Octavio was trapped inside a burning vehicle following an IED blast and suffered third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body. Read the rest of this entry »

Lance Corporal Robert “Drew” Mendez, USMC

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April 13, 2014

The first time Drew saw an example of the brotherhood of the Marine Corps, he was about 8 or 9 years old in his home town of Kingsville, Texas, just south of Corpus Christi.

“I was raised by my grandparents,” Drew recalls, “and they owned a bar. I used to go over there a lot in the summers, count the quarters from the pool table, help clean up, that sort of thing. My grandpa served in Korea, he was a member of the 1st Marine Division, and he used to wear a 1st Marine Division hat. Read the rest of this entry »

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"

Protected: Staff Sergeant Mark Z.: “I am fiercely proud of my sacrifice.”

Mark standing atop Mount Killamanjaro
February 27, 2014

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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.)

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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.”