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TobyandIarebothfromWesternWashingtonoriginally.

HejoinedtheMarinesrightoutofhighschool
in1998andhadmultiplenoncombatdeployments.Hedeployedatotalof7times(twocombat,five
routine)inthe81/2yearshewasactiveduty.

In2004hedeployedtoAfghanistanandreturnedwithoutseriousinjuryafter4monthsinKabul.In
2005ourdaughterwasborn,andhedeployedshortlyafterthattoIraqwiththe2ndbattalionofthe6th
Marineregiment.ThemarineshadalreadytakenFallujahinthepush,soatthatpointtheywere
continuingtoflushoutinsurgentsandattempttosecurethecity.Thecompanyhadamoderatenumber
ofcasualties,butTobyhadsurvivedmultipleIEDblastswithonlyminorinjuries.

January13th,2006thatchangeddramatically.Whiledetainingasuspectedpropagandacameraman,a
suicide,vehicleborneImprovisedexplosivedevice(SVBIED)droveintotheareawherethetruckshad
stopped,anddetonatedwhileTobywasdismountedfromthevehicle.Hesustainedminorshrapnel
injuriestobothlegs,withsignificantshrapneldamagetohisrightarm,andseverebluntforcetraumato
hisspineandpelvis(HisSAPIplatewasshatteredinsideofhisvest).Thebestguessisthatawheelora
pieceoftheengineblockhithimintheback.Helostconsciousnessforanunknownamountoftime,
butaccordingtotheplatooncommanderstruggledtopullhimselfuprightassoonasheregained
consciousnessbyusinghisgoodarmtoholdontothesideofthetruck,sothathecouldprovidecover.
HeandtheotherseverelyinjuredMarineweremed'evacdtoFallujahsurgicaltobestabilized.
Unfortunatelygiventhelimitationofcombatmedicineatfieldhospitalsandtherecentsignificantlosses
tothecompanyhewasnotabletobeevacuatedtoGermany.Hisplatoondidanamazingjobproviding
thebestcarethattheycouldgiventhehorrificcircumstances.

UponreturntotheUShewastreatedatthenavalhospitalatcampLeJeune,buttheystruggledto
provideappropriatecareinanunpreparedandoverwhelmedmedicalsystem.Thesameunfortunate
scenariorepeatedin2007whenhewasaccidentallydischargedfromtheUSMCandthrustintoan
equallyillequippedVAhealthcaresystem.(whichisit'sownstory)

Afterstrugglingfor5yearswithseverepain,andseverelylimitedmobility,thathehadnohopeof
recoveryfrom,theMarineCorps'severelyinjuredliaisonfoundaprogramcalledOperationMend,and
referredTobytosomeoftheworldsbestsurgeons.Sincethenhehashad5proceduressuccessfully
completedonhisspineandanothermajorsurgerytorepairsomeoftheshrapneldamageinhisright
arm.Itisexpectedthathewillhavetohavemanymoresurgerieseverysixtotwelvemonthsforthe
restofhislife,asthedamagetohisspineandpelvisisirreparable.Onlyonemoresurgeryonhisarmis
anticipated,thoughwearehopingtodelayitaslongaspossible.

Tobyenjoysdistanceshooting,andcurrentlyvolunteerstoteachhunterseducationfortheWDFWafew
timesayear.TheWoundedWarriorProjectprovidesinhomesupporttohimthreedaysaweekto
assistwithphysicalrehabilitation.

Ourchildren,Auston(age8)andJustice(Girlsoontobe10)havebeenawesometroopersthroughallof
theirdad'srecovery,whetheritisflyingtoCaliforniaforsurgery,sittinginVAwaitingroomsandbeing
veryacceptingoftheirdad'schallenges.Ourson'sjoyinlifeisanythingLego'sandourdaughteris
passionateaboutallthingshorserelated.Theyarebothhomeschooledandcurrentlyfinishingthe3rd
grade.

Iworkparttimefromhome,andgenerallyrunthiscircus,managingalloftheappointments,therapies,
etc...andfunctionasToby'sexternalbrain(hismemoryistoastfromtheheadinjury).

Wearecurrentlyworkingonfinding/buildingasinglelevelhometomeetToby'slongtermneeds.We
arelivinginarentalwithstairs,whichisnotalongtermoption,duetohisspineinjuries.Themonth
beforeandthemonthaftereachsurgeryareextremelydifficultforhimtogetupstairstobed.(andany
randomdaysthatthemusclesaroundtheinjuriesspasm).HedoesnotqualifyforaVAhousinggrant
becausehisconditionisconsideredtobeintermittent(thoughpermanent),ratherthanconstant,sowe
willbepayingforournewhomewithoutassistance.(TheVAmaycoverthingslikeramps,handrails,
etc...afterwebuildthehouse.)