20 July, 2006

Help a Wounded Marine


I have a contact point for those who asked how to support the severely-wounded Marine I mentioned on Tuesday.

Corporal Jonathan Benson's injuries are even more serious than those that Joey Bozik has miraculously overcome. Cpl. Benson was wounded by an IED just over one month ago and is coping with a stunning level of physical trauma. He has lost his right foot, his left arm and left leg up into and including the left side of his pelvis, his left kidney and part of his intestines. Complications include failure of his remaining kidney.

However, he is now awake and communicative. He's scheduled to receive a Valour-IT laptop and the Soldiers' Angels Wounded Team is making him a special project. But he is not "out of the woods" yet and will need a vast amount of support, appreciation and encouragement as he copes with his new physical reality and tackles the recovery process.

So if you feel the urge, please send him cards and letters at the address below. If you don't know what to send, just get him a funny card and write "Thank You" inside. What will matter most to him and his loved ones is simply knowing that his sacrifice is recognized and appreciated, and that he will be not be forgotten as he faces these new challenges.

He has given so much... surely you can spare a stamp and a brief note to sustain his spirits:

Jonathan Benson
c/o Marine Liason
Brooke Army Medical Center
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200

Update: I just discovered this evening that Powerline and the Minnesota press are covering this in more detail on a parallel track to what I've been reporting.

Powerline also writes, "Reader John Furutani of CENTCOM has copied us on his message to Corporal Benson:"
Your dedication to service and country is incredible, and your sacrifice is duly noted and thanked. In order to provide a measure of that thanks from one fellow citizen, I will be going to the Valour IT site and donating sufficient monies to fund a voice-activated laptop for your personal use.

I have been in Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2006, so I am familiar with the conditions which we ask our military to endure for the country’s sake. The fact that you have gone in country--twice—speaks well to your courage and honor.

Again, please accept my thanks on behalf of myself and my family. Please remember during your rehabilitation that you have the support and well wishes of other beyond your immediate family and community.

If any member of your family, or someone close to you, may need frequent flier miles to make the trip to San Antonio, please have them contact me [email address omitted].

Not all can do as the Mr. Furutani has, but we can all express our gratitude and support with a letter. Please do.

Btw, as I typed this update I received an email from Mr. Furutani himself, asking how he could donate towards a laptop for Cpl. Benson.

Update: Johnathan passed away on September 9, 2006.

[More: update 1, update 2, update 3, update 4, update 5]