Leatherneck | by Sara Bock | March 2019 | Link to Article
"Keeping Up With the Terrain"
Over 15 Years, Semper Fi Fund Founders Adapt Mission as Needs Evolve
In June 2007, Gunnery Sergeant Davey Lind was recovering in a hospital bed in Bethesda, Md., dealing with the reality that his life would be changed forever. During his third deployment to Iraq, his vehicle had struck an improvised explosive device, and the blast severed both of his legs from the knee down.
His wife, Lisa, took a leave of absence from work and was by his side for the entirety of his 45-day stay, but their four children remained home at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., where Lind was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. The separation took a toll on the entire family, he recalled with raw emotion in his voice more than a decade later.
And that's when Semper Fi Fund-a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured servicemembers–stepped in and provided the funds for his children to travel twice from California to Bethesda and back. It was a gesture that Lind says was crucial to his family's stability as he recovered and attempted to find a new normal.
"Hey, Dad is down but he's not out. We're going to be OK, and it's going to take me a while to get back up on my feet-but once I do get back up on my feet, I'm not going to be deploying anymore. Be patient, let me get better and we'll get through this," Lind, now a retired master sergeant, recalls telling his children.
By alleviating many of the stressors that easily could have overwhelmed Lind during that time, the support provided by the fund allowed him to focus solely on his recovery-and it worked. Just two months after his injury, he took his first steps on prosthetic legs.