Cpl. Melroy Cort
On December 7th Melroy's platoon was on an extract mission to assist on the Med-Evac of injured Marines, the mission was diverted and they were on their way back to Camp Snake Pit when the lead Humvee struck the first IED. Cpl. Cort who was operating a 7 ton tactical vehicle at the time of the attacks, immediately started positioning his vehicle to support the wounded Marines ahead in the destroyed Humvee.
Cpl. Cort and his squad would dismount the 7 ton tactical to provide a security perimeter and reach the wounded Marines when the second more powerful explosion occurred. The IED consisted of four 155MM High Explosive Projectile rounds , just one has a killing radius of 150 feet, the 7 ton Vehicle would take most of the impact of the massive blast but unfortunately not all of it.
Cpl. Melroy Cort and 5 of his fellow Marines would be catastrophically wounded with one dying immediately from his wounds and the others receiving injuries that would forever change their lives. The injured Marines were rapidly evacuated to Camp Ramadi for lifesaving treatments.
Cpl Cort would endure the amputation of both legs above this knees, permanent damage to his right hand, traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Once stabilized enough, Cpl. Cort would be flown to Germany and then to Walter Reed Medical Facility to continue medical treatments for the next year and half.
LCpl. Alex Edwards
In March 2013, Alex suffered the loss of seven Marines from his platoon during a live fire training exercise. Even though numerous Marines were wounded or killed in this training incident, his unit would still deploy overseas before the end of the year. Alex was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal within three months of being assigned to his unit.
He deployed to Afghanistan in September 2013 where he and his battalion would spent the next eight months as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 31st of 2013 Alex was in the gunner’s turret of a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle returning to base after a mission when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. The massive explosion caused Alex to lose consciousness and sustained permanent hearing loss and multiple contusions to the face, shoulder.
To this day Alex continues to receive medical treatment at his local VA hospital due to severe pain from his service connected injuries.
Sgt. Eric Morante
U.S. Marine Sgt. Eric Morante received the keys to his beautiful home on March 3, 2018. Eric's beautiful ranch is set on an amazing piece of property in New Braunfels, Texas.
Eric served three tours in Iraq, and during his third tour Eric and several of the Marines he led were guarding a bridge when a suicide bomber drove a truck with over 3,000 pounds of explosives under them.
Eric lost his right leg above the knee and shattered his wrist. After months of exhausting rehabilitation and struggles with depression, Eric began to use his injury to help motivate others. He became the first Marine amputee to compete in amateur boxing, and continues to compete in the National Amputee Boxing Association.
Spc. Tony Chobanov
Spc. Tony Chobanov and his family were delivered a beautiful sprawling ranch in Spring Grove, Illinois. The Chobanov family received the key to their forever home on May 20th. Surpassing last year, over 500 volunteers pitched to complete this home on time and as planned.
Tony completed two tours while he served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a forward observer for the Army from 2004 until his retirement in 2009. His duties also included communicating battlefield intelligence to central command.
Since Tony's retirement his return stateside has been difficult. Tony currently is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
LCpl. Cody Evans
LCpl Cody Evans was rewarded with his barrier free home in Speedwell, Tennessee. The build was completed on May 21st, on schedule after a few setbacks early on. There were over 80 out-of-state volunteers that stayed the week to get this done in conjunction with over 400 total volunteers including all of the subcontractors.
Cody served in the U.S. Marines as a Lance Corporal from 2009 until retiring 2013. He is currently living in Speedwell, TN with his mother Regina while they wait for his new house to be completed.
Cody was touring in Afghanistan in 2011 when his squad was sent in to clear a building. While sweeping for a secondary device Cody was injured by an IED causing him to have both legs amputated. One just above the knee and the other from the hip.
Sgt. Jason Smith
Sgt. Jason Smith's build was completed in 2015 in Ringgold, Georgia. Jason served in the U.S. Army from 2009 until his retirement in 2014. Jason served in Afghanistan under the 2nd platoon, 3rd squad, Alpha team as the Lead Vallon Operator. He was scheduled to tour in the Southern Region for 8 months. On July 25th, 2012, Jason was injured while sweeping for IED's causing him to have both legs amputated. One just above the knee the other just below.
Today Jason is living with his beautiful bride Lauren. They have a daughter, Lyla Jean, with another on the way!