Afghanistan Story


On the 9th of January 2010, in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, my vehicle, which was the last vehicle in a six-vehicle convoy, was hit by an estimated three hundred pound IED. At the time I had eight total in my vehicle, three crew (driver, vehicle commander, and gunner) and five passengers, two were civilian BBC reporters, the Battalion gunner, the Maintenance Management Officer (MMO), and an Armory Technician.

 

It turns out that the IED was command detonated so the Taliban thugs were specifically targeting my truck. I believe the reason why is because all the humanitarian work that was done in the area of operation was done out of my vehicle. Also if a vehicle got stuck or had broken down my vehicle was in the middle of the action. The Taliban watched this and decided to try to send a message that backfired on them.

 

Unfortunately two didn’t make it out of the truck, one of the BBC reporters Rupert J. Hamer, and Mark A. Juarez the Armory Technician. There were six of us that were severely injured. One stayed in country and later was moved to the States the rest  were MEDEVACED to Camp Leatherneck then back to the States. I don't have all the details of the injured but was informed that the civilian reporter who survived went to Britain and had both of his legs amputated. My driver stayed in country to repair his right leg but was later sent to the States. Four of us went to the same hospital in Bethesda, MD. My gunner, who was blown out of the turret, needed to have both knees rebuilt, the Battalion Gunner had throat damage and has some minor brain damage, the Battalion MMO Officer also had throat damage and had bone fragments in his back that were removed. I had a broken left knee, six broken ribs, ruptured spleen that was removed, part of my pancreas removed, severely fracture right and left scapula,  an open book pelvic fracture, a chipped bone in my right wrist, fractured neck, and crushed my back at the T5 vertebrae which paralyzed me from the chest down.

 

From the blast sight I was transported to Camp Leather Neck where they worked on my left knee and removed my spleen and part of my pancreas to stabilize me for the flight to Germany then Bethesda. At Bethesda they fused my back together and started my rehab. After Bethesda I was sent to Palo Alto, California to work on my wrist and finish out my rehab learning how to live in a wheelchair.

 

While at Palo Alto I exceeded the expectations of the Physical Therapy staff but I had to have one more operation on my right wrist to repair a chipped bone it slowed me down but not stop my rehabilitation. My projected discharge date was the 8th of July.

 

After my discharge from the VA hospital my wife, baby and were transferred to San Antonio, Texas, to start my medical discharge from the Marine Corps after 16 years.

Pictures Of The Truck

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