Right before Veterans Day, I posted a story about Catch A Lift. The non-profit provides gym memberships and home gym equipment to help wounded post-9/11 service members heal mentally and physically, through physical fitness.
Westporter Adam Vengrow was organizing a fundraiser for Birchwood Country Club.
Folks in town responded in force. Now they’ve received word that their generosity paid off.
Juan Dominguez writes:
I joined the Marine Corps in 2007. My great-grandpa, grandpa and uncles were all in the service. So was my dad, who is my personal hero. He served in the Army, fought in Vietnam, and received a Bronze Star with a combat “V.”
I was with 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, known as the DarkHorse. On October 23, 201o in Sangin, Afghanistan, we were en route to link up with another squad from my platoon. We were going to check out a compound of interest.
After linking up with the boys we stepped off. I stepped on a pressure-plated plastic jug IED that our metal detectors could not pick up.
I was sent several feet in the air. I lost both legs above the knees. Six hours later in surgery I lost my right arm above the elbow. I have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and severe PTSD.
My awards include a Purple Heart, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with star.
I am married to a truly wonderful woman, Alexis, and have a daughter Victoria.
I am a full-time musician and photographer. My greatest musical achievements so far are playing drums with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and G.E. Smith of Hall and Oates at Madison Square Garden, and Tom Morello and Billy Corgan at DAR Constitution Hall.
Fitness to me means having the ability to keep up in daily activities, and help me age appropriately. I want to live using my second chance to the fullest with my family.
(Hat tip: Johanna Rossi)