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    Wounded Ohio Marine competes at 2013 Marine Corps Trials

    Wounded Ohio Marine competes at 2013 Marine Corps Trials

    Photo By Sgt. Scott Reel | Lance Cpl. Chad Ohmer, 25, from North Bend, Ohio, towels off during a break at the...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Scott Reel 

    Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Chad Ohmer, 25, from North Bend, Ohio, had the dream.

    “Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a Marine. Everybody always played Army men; I always played Marines,” he said.

    He loved his job in the Marine Corps as an infantryman, married his childhood best friend or “diaper sweetheart,” and had a baby girl on the way before heading to Afghanistan.

    On May 26, 2012, the dream seemed all but shattered entirely. The man Ohmer covered and aided from an initial improvised explosive device rolled over onto a second, blowing the two of them and another into the air and left to luck.

    “The first clear thought I had was actually while I was in the air, and it was ‘shit, I just got blown up’…and ‘my wife is going to kill me’,” Chad said with a grin.

    His wife, Renae, received a call from her husband that same day. Initially, he thought he lost both legs in the blast. The only thing six-month pregnant Renae could do was cry.

    “In two days, she dropped everything she was doing,” Ohmer said. “She left her job. She came up to be by my side, and she hasn’t left my side since. If anything, it’s made us stronger. It’s made our relationship stronger.”

    “It calmed me down to see him,” Renae said. “I knew it was going to be bad, but I was actually expecting worse than what it was. It was very good to be able to see him and touch him and hug and kiss on him.”

    While it could have seemed like an end to a long anticipated dream, both Renae and her husband heard about the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment. Ohmer’s attitude changed for the better with the assistance of the program.

    “He’s constantly had his spirits up which I think has helped him in the process, and being able to talk to other guys and knowing all the amputees — just being able to know and do all of that has helped him keep his spirits up,” Renae said.

    Talking to Marines in similar situations quickly offered Ohmer a chance to give back to the Marine Corps in a way that keeps the feeling of being a Marine where it should be — between the crosshairs.

    Ohmer picked up archery in November 2012 and eventually joined Team Semper Fi, sponsored by Easton.

    “It takes a lot of concentration,” Ohmer said. “It takes a lot of focus. You get into your own world when you shoot. The competition and the feeling when you pound an arrow through that target is just great.”

    “He shot with an Olympic medalist in Lancaster and they said they would’ve never guessed he’d only been shooting for two months,” Renae said.

    Ohmer now travels cross-country to participate in shoot tournaments.

    However, while hovering twenty feet above the ground after the explosion a world away, Emma, Ohmer’s daughter sat in his wife’s stomach unaware of what happened to her father. Although archery has helped the family heal, his daughter remains his goal.

    “When I got blown up, that was one thing I thought about, my daughter,” Ohmer said. “I told the docs; just make sure I make it home to my baby."

    Chad’s wife stayed close in the hospital, but when the time came, it was Chad’s turn to hold her hand and welcome a new member of the family.

    “While I was actually an inpatient, my wife went into labor,” Ohmer said. “She was on the sixth floor and I was on the fourth. They let me go up and be with her while she went through labor.

    “That’s my number one goal, to get back to a normal life of walking around, standing, and — now that I have my daughter — to play with her.”



    Date Taken: 03.02.2013
    Date Posted: 03.03.2013 18:04
    Story ID: 102841
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 
    Hometown: NORTH BEND, OH, US

    Web Views: 792
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