News: Marines raise money, awareness for Semper Fi Fund
Story by Sgt. Jennifer Pirante
SAN DIEGO — Marines and guests gathered to raise money and awareness for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund at the Broken Yolk Café in Oceanside, Calif., April 13.
San Diego radio station Rock 105.3FM challenged approximately 15 Marines to go up against radio show host Mike Costa in the 12-egg Ironman Challenge. The event was broadcasted live on the radio and the station’s website.
The challenge was to consume a 12-egg omelette, stuffed with onions, a large side of potatoes and two fist-sized biscuits. Proceeds were donated to the fund.
The only Marine to come close to completing the challenge, with just two biscuits left on his plate, was Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson, an infantry unit leader and operations chief with Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“I decided to come out to support the Semper Fi Fund,” Wilson said. “I’ll do anything for these guys.”
Wilson was injured by an improvised explosive device attack during a deployment in Iraq. The Semper Fi Fund was there to help Wilson and his family emotionally, mentally and financially throughout his recovery.
“I was injured in 2006 and from the very beginning they were there helping my family and getting all of my family members down to see me, which helped me psychologically,” Wilson said. “They helped me any time I needed any type of assistance from vehicle modifications to home modifications to everything in between. It’s a great organization.”
Since 2004, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund has stepped up to help post 9-11 injured service members and their families any way they can.
The organization, led by Karen Guenther, was founded after a group of military spouses came up with a way to ease the hardships families face when their loved ones are severely injured in combat.
“[Guenther] was a nurse at Camp Pendleton about seven or eight years ago and she saw a need,” said Vanessa Donaldson, community events manager with Semper Fi Fund. “There are wives who will give up their job for a year or two to fly to be by their spouse’s bedside. These are long-term relationships that are developed, so once they leave the hospital, the service member can just focus on physical therapy and recovering and not worry about bills or anything else.”
The Semper Fi Fund has provided more than $50 million to injured service members and their families.
“These guys are warriors and sometimes they just want to do it all on their own, but we are there in time of need,” Donaldson said.