On May 18, 2004, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund was established by a nurse who worked with injured Marines and sailors at the Camp Pendleton Hospital in California. The nurseís husband was deployed in Iraq at the time. She brought together a small group of concerned Marine Corps spouses to provide financial grants and needed equipment to injured Marines and other service members injured while assigned to Marine forces. Since its inception, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund has provided more than $144 million dollars in assistance to over 18,000 service members. The Fund has been featured on 60 Minutes, CBS News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, The Chris Mathews Show, Fox News and National Public Radio. Additionally, numerous other journalists have conducted interviews of injured Marines and sailors, who expressed their gratitude for the support that they had received from the Fund.

Our Marines and sailors return home after being stabilized at military hospitals in Germany. Upon arrival, critical care is provided at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Depending on the severity of the injuries, continued hospitalization occurs at other hospitals located throughout America. Hospital stays can extend for months and rehabilitative care for years.

When a Marine is injured, the entire family shares the burden of recovery. A young married Marine with a wife and two small children may at first require the support of his spouse. Eventually, the Marineís spouse must return home to care for the children and parents may step in to provide comfort to the injured Marine. As time passes, Mom and Dad may need to return to work and a sibling may arrive until a spouse can return again.

Loved ones travel great distances at a momentís notice to be at the bedside of their wounded family member. Family members take leave from their jobs, often without pay. They also incur additional expenses - lodging, travel, food - while trying to meet obligations at home. It can become difficult for families to make ends meet while helping their Marine recover. Few are prepared for the expense.

The Marine Corps goes above and beyond to support Marines and their families but there are limits to the amount of funding available to accommodate the families of injured Marines. The Marine Corps can only provide assistance to family members for a limited period of time. Defense Department funding is not available to extended family members or for the reimbursement of expenses for rental cars, long-term childcare, or lost income.

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.


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