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 »

Sergeant Eddie Wright, USMC

The Wright Family photo
March 20, 2013

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:

Eddie Wright before and after injury

Sergeant Eddie Wright before his injury in Iraq (left) and after his injury recovering at the hospital (right).

"…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

March 19, 2013

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 »

Dream Machines: Action Track Wheelchairs Bring Independence to our Service Members

Action Track Wheelchair
March 1, 2013

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

Rudolfo Moreno
February 28, 2013

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 »

True Love in Pictures

Taylor Morris and girlfriend Danielle
February 18, 2013

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: A Close Friend of the Semper Fi Fund

Shurvon and Gail Phillips
January 21, 2013

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 »

In Loving Memory of Musician First Class Kenneth Fennell (United States Navy)

in memory of kenneth fennell
January 17, 2013

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 »

Sharing our stories in honor of Veterans Day: Corporal Todd Love

Todd Love at the Lt. Dan Band Fundraiser
November 16, 2012

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 »

Sharing our Stories in honor of Veterans Day: Sergeant Eric Frazier

Eric Frazier
November 14, 2012

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 »

Sharing our stories in honor of Veterans Day: Chief Warrant Officer TaMarsh Thompson

Thompson TaMarsh photo1
November 13, 2012

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 »

Sharing our stories in honor of Veterans Day: Gunnery Sergeant Brian Meyer

Brian and Jesseca Meyer
November 11, 2012

In March 2011, Gunnery Sergeant Brian Meyer was deployed as a Staff Sergeant when he was injured by an IED blast that resulted in the complete amputation of his right hand and leg, and amputation of the thumb and index finger on his left hand. Despite the severity of his injuries, Brain is amazingly positive and refuses to let his injuries keep him from living a rich and fulfilling life. Read the rest of this entry »

Navy Petty Officer Fights for His Country and Life

September 4, 2012

In 2010, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Bryan Fazio was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Since then, he has been in a fight for his life with stage four cancer. An unsuccessful bone marrow transplant last September left Bryan with a fifteen percent chance of survival. In anticipation of the worst, Bryan, at only twenty-four-years-old, began writing his will with his mother, Sheryl, by his hospital bedside. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Generations of Marines “Ride for Heroes” to Support Injured Service Members

Ride for Heroes Feature
August 10, 2012

October 21, 2010 was a day like no other for Ben Maenza, a Combat Engineer with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines serving in Afghanistan. That was the day Ben encountered an IED, resulting in the loss of both legs above the knee and shrapnel wounds to his face and torso. Every day since, Ben has worked diligently at his hard-earned recovery.

Recently, Ben met Troy McLehany, Dennis McLaughlin, and John Gerlaugh at an event on the Intrepid. Read the rest of this entry »

Corporal Jessie Fletcher: Help Our Heroes on their Journey towards Independence

Jessie Fletcher and Emily Ball playing guitar
July 3, 2012

Every 4th of July, the entire nation gathers together to celebrate the freedoms that we are uniquely blessed to experience, yet sometimes take for granted. One year ago this month, a young Corporal named Jessie Fletcher was deployed, and soon experienced firsthand the price of the freedoms we benefit from each day. Read the rest of this entry »