His children were his main motivation for recovery, “Every day I endure constant
pain that deters me from performing basic tasks, but my kids empower me to work through my challenges, and when pain becomes unmanageable, they are there to give me a hug.”
Father of Eight!
Army Major Jeremy is the father of eight children, ages ranging from one to seventeen. After being injured in Afghanistan from a bullet and shrapnel lodged in several places in his spine, Jeremy thought it impossible that he was even going to live. (as they loaded him on the Medevac.) Not only did Jeremy survive, but he is able to play an active role in all of his children’s lives.
While serving as an Aide-de-Camp to a General Officer, he was shot four times. As his security teams prepared to depart their site, a gunman opened fire from a window near Jeremy. Fighting to remain conscious, he recalls someone whispering, “He’s not going to make it.” Jeremy remembers opening his eyes and wondering if he was dead and saying to himself, “Heaven sure looks a lot like Afghanistan.” He heard one of his teammates ask if he was alive. With every breath in his body he said, “I am alive.” Medics picked him up multiple times, but his entire body was numb. Jeremy was taken to an aid station and from there he was driven to a MEDEVAC drop zone. Minutes later, helicopters took him to Bagram, Afghanistan. With a gunshot wound to the spine, both legs, and right shoulder, he fought to stay alive. The last thing he recalls was a doctor looking down saying, “We are going to take care of you.”
One of the most rewarding jobs a man can take on in his life is that of being a father. It is a lifelong duty that greatly affects the lives of the children one is raising. When a service member is injured, one of the greatest worries they can have is how to take care of their children. Sometimes the roles get reversed and children actually take on the caregiver role. With a second chance at life, spending more time with his kids has been one of Jeremy’s priorities. When he feels like quitting, his family is there to refuel his spirit.
His children were his main motivation for recovery, “Every day I endure constant pain that deters me from performing basic tasks, but my kids empower me to work through my challenges, and when pain becomes unmanageable, they are there to give me a hug.”
With the assistance of the Semper Fi Fund, Jeremy was able to be participate in his children’s activities with increased independence. Immediately after injury, Semper Fi Fund presented Jeremy with a grant to help with the bills and childcare since his wife quit her job to care for him. SFF was also instrumental in arranging flights, lodging, and providing assistance so his children could visit him in the hospital. Later, when Jeremy was ready to go home, the Fund provided a grant to acquire an adaptive vehicle. With a body brace keeping his spinal cord aligned, he was given the chance to re-learn how to drive. “I was sinking into depression, feeling helpless and unable to fulfill basic duties as a husband and father. Driving gave me a purpose and independence.” Jeremy then discovered the freedom of handcycling. With his Fund’s case manager encouraging him every step of the way Jeremy embraced many new activities. A Segway wheelchair allows Jeremy to take part in a favorite activity of all fathers-walking the kids to school!
The Semper Fi Fund has been blessed to be a part of Jeremy’s journey and will continue to be involved in the lives of this wonderful family. Jeremy is an extraordinary example of post traumatic growth!