Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Around Town: They deserve better

In a perfect world, America would support its wounded warriors.

We do not live in a perfect world.

Whatever your views on the war, our service members have been sent to this war by prosecuted by both a Republican and a Democrat in the Oval Office — and by the varying majorities of Congress.

In this era of billion dollar bailouts and bonuses, our amputees, brain-injured and blind Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen must rely on the kindness of others.

For the past five years, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund,, has tried to bridge that gap. The organization was started by a nurse and some Marine Corps wives.

When Marines, Sailors, and other military personnel assigned to Marine Forces, are injured or critically ill, their entire family shares the pain and burden of recovery. Normal life is put on hold, often times for weeks, months, or years, as loved ones travel great distances, at a moment’s notice, and stay at the bedside. They take leave from their jobs, often without pay, and incur additional expenses for childcare, lodging, travel, specialized equipment, and other necessities. Few families are prepared for the expenses they face. They need help, and they need it quickly. The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund was created to meet this need.

One story I heard was this: A paralyzed Marine was discharged home from the hospital. His wife carried him to their car every day. Sometimes, she would slip and they would both fall. They could not afford a modified vehicle. The Marine wives raised the money and the family was given a special van, which allowed the husband to drive his kids to school.

The idea is to give the wounded the tools to live independently. “To alleviate the financial burden placed on the service member and their family so the focus remains on recovery and beyond.”

As one wife said, “They deserve better.”

Since its inception the Semper Fi Fund’s fundraising expenses have been less than eight percent. They now provide volunteers and services at all major U.S. military hospitals worldwide. There are no delays — they respond with grants immediately, as well as family support, housing assistance, medical support, specialized equipment, therapy, transition and transportation. They also assist with PTSD and combat stress and traumatic brain injuries. These services are not limited to Marines, the Semper Fi Fund helps other branches of service as well.

In the next few weeks, my friends and I at Valley Sun will suggest some unique ways to support the Semper Fi Fund. In the meantime, please consider a small donation:

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

825 College Blvd., Suite 102

PMB 609 Oceanside, CA 92057

Published Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009 4:11 AM PDT
Around Town:
‘They deserve better’
By Anita Susan Brenner

La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

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