LIBERTY MOUNTAIN, Pa -- Marines with Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force, gave back to the military community here Feb. 29 - March 2. Marines assisted wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital and had a helping hand from another patriotic citizen working behind the scenes.
“They assisted the wounded warriors. I assisted them with steaks and beverages,” said Seamus Garrahy, a former Marine from Gettysburg, Pa.
Garrahy hosted Marines at his home, while Marines helped wounded warriors to ski by assisting them with their gear on the slopes.
“After we got our gear together, we were paired up with an instructor and a warrior. I assisted with getting equipment or as a safety spotter,” said Sgt. Matthew Lopez, operations chief for engineers, Headquarters and Service Company, CBIRF.
Marines seized the opportunity at Liberty Mountain to pass along motivation when needed, while getting to know their wounded comrades.
“They did a great job. They pushed me. I don’t think I would have gone on some of the stuff I did had I not had some pushing,” said Mike Dinkel, a wounded warrior who participated in the ski event.
CBIRF Marines were paired with wounded Army soldiers, bringing back to life the age-old service rivalry.
“We gave each other hell,” said Dinkel. “We had a good time.”
The weekend proved to be more than joking around, it was also educational. Lopez said he gained just as much as the wounded warriors he was helping.
“Before this past weekend, I had no experience in skiing. I fell a lot, but I learned a lot. After a few trips down the easy and medium hills, I was able to go down the harder hills. When we took the wounded warriors down the hills using their adaptive equipment, I was able to escort,” Lopez said.
When the Marines weren’t helping out on the slopes, they were sharing their Marine Corps experiences with a fellow Leatherneck, Garrahy.
“It’s always a great time for Marines to go to Seamus’ home. He’s experienced a part of Marine Corps history that we haven’t, and he’s willing to share it with us,” said Sgt. Jeffrey Rymoff, Marine Corps integrated maintenance management system/licensing noncommissioned officer, motor transportation, Headquarters and Service Company.
On the surface, this weekend was about giving back, but perhaps more importantly, it represented the selfless character of the U.S. service members of today and yesterday.