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Spotsylvania community raises $45,000 for group that helps the families of injured Marines.
Date published: 2/21/2005
By BILL FREEHLING
The threesome slowly entering the packed clubhouse at Fawn Lake Country Club yesterday afternoon were living testaments to the risk-taking required of a United States Marine.
Each man is less than 30, was seriously injured in Iraq and has spent months rebuilding a body shattered by attack.
Fawn Lake residents welcomed the injured Marines to a reception in their clubhouse yesterday. The Spotsylvania County community raised more than $45,000 for a fund that helps Marine families.
"You represent the best of America, and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices you have made," event organizer Doug Horstman told the trio.
The money goes to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund set up in May to help families of injured Marines pay the many expenses that arise, including missed time from work, travel and lodging.
Renee Bardorf, vice president of the fund, was at Fawn Lake to accept the gift. She said the fund has already donated a total of about $920,000 to 627 families.
"We're always faithful to our Corps," she said while thanking the Fawn Lake community.
Some top Marine Corps brass attended yesterday's reception, which was paid for by Fawn Lake developer NTS Development Co. The VIPs included Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, But it was the injured Marines who stole the show.
Cpl. Andy Hatcher, a 21-year-old North Carolina man, is deaf in his right ear and lost his right leg below the knee after an ambush in Fallujah on Thanksgiving.
Cpl. Eddie Wright, a 29-year-old Seattle native, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in April. He lost both hands and broke one of his femurs.
And Lance Cpl. Michael Jernigan, a 26-year-old Florida man, was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in August.
Each has spent months recovering from their injuries, including stints at the Washington area's Bethesda Naval and Walter Reed Army medical centers. Each has months of rehabilitation ahead.