Marine Master Sergeant John Hayes: “My injury has taught me what’s important about life.”

Posted on December 2, 2015

John arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on January 2, 2011, after losing both legs to an IED (improvised explosive device) blast on December 28, 2010 in John Hayes family picture - soon after injuryAfghanistan. An EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) expert, he was in his 11th year as a Marine and sustained his injury during his fourth deployment.

“This whole experience, it’s matured my marriage to my wife Janelle,” says John, who officially retired from the Marines on October 31, 2013.. “It’s aged our marriage at least 10 or 20 years, and it’s taught me what’s important about life. I want to spend time and have fun with my family. I pull in all the positive people as I can, I keep these people as close to my life as possible. You talk about support networks—Semper Fi Fund is a huge part of that.”

The Semper Fi Fund provided a wide range of support to John and his family, including an Action Trackchair that provides him with a level of freedom and mobility he wouldn’t otherwise have, supported the purchase of a special adaptive minivan, travel assistance so family and friends could be by his side during his recovery, and a lift in his home so he can access a huge storage area with Home Depot’s support.

“I know of no other organization that does what the Semper Fi Fund does. I feel like they’re my own family.”