Support from Semper Fi & America's Fund allows Marine double amputee to stay active, honor family legacy of service

WRAL | November 8, 2021 | Link to Article

Marine combat veteran Mike Frazier spends a lot of time in what he calls his "man cave" at his Pittsboro home. There he keeps his collection of military memorabilia, which includes a framed picture that tells the story of his family’s legacy of military service. It features four military portraits in a frame. "My dad’s dad, my mom’s dad and this is my dad and this is me," he said.

The family legacy of service goes back to the Civil War. Frazier prominently displays a special memento that belonged to one of his family’s military heroes — a sword and scabbard carried by Lt. Henry Frazier as he fought with the Union army in the Civil War.

Frazier’s own legacy of service includes a Purple Heart. He served three tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

That’s where his life changed forever. "[I was] just on a foot patrol, a presence patrol, and I was just the lucky one who stepped on it," said Frazier, referring to a planted bomb, also know as an IED or "improvised explosive device."

That IED took both of his lower legs but not his life.

"There’s one I’m super proud of. It’s called Race Across America," said Frazier, holding up the one that required the most physical endurance.

He’s also a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu.

"(It’s) a form of therapy," he said. "I come out here and try to go at it every single day."

The gym equipment he uses, a special van and accessibility improvements, including an expanded backyard patio came through financial assistance from the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.

Through Dec. 31, the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation is matching donations, up to $10 million, to so that the Semper Fi and America’s Fund can benefit more veterans like Frazier.

Frazier met his wife, Monica, at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland soon after his injury. She was one of the nurses who provided care for him as he recovered.

"She’s a fantastic mother and a great nurse. We have three beautiful kids together," he said.

Frazier has no regrets about putting his life at risk, even almost losing his life for his country. A large American flag in a hallway is signed with heartfelt messages from those he served with in the Middle East. It reminds him of the special honor it is to serve one’s country, "to follow along in the footsteps of my grandfathers and my dad to do something bigger than myself," he said.