This sponsored content was printed in the November/December edition of Omaha Magazine. To view, click here: https://issuu.com/omahapublications/docs/80623_omag_city/76
Jesus ‘Chuy’ Vasquez was only 17 when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2001. During his time with 2nd Force Reconnaissance he deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2003 to Iraq, and then again in 2005. He was awarded two Combat Action Ribbons, the Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal among others. He also became a jumpmaster.
In 2006, his career as a Marine came to a screeching halt when he had an accident during a free fall parachute training exercise in North Carolina that resulted in a severely broken leg and required a plate with 12 screws in his leg. This accident was also the cause of his traumatic brain injury. His leg was not healing with the plate and screws so after several attempts to salvage his leg, involving over 20 surgeries, doctors recommended that his leg be amputated. On Oct. 1, 2010, his medical team amputated his leg.
Seven months later, after lots of rehabilitation at the Center For the Intrepid, he was able to come back home for good.
Chuy, his wife Penny, and their three daughters were guests of Wounded Warriors at their Bahama Bay retreat in Florida. This was especially important because Chuy had appointments at a prosthetic clinic in the Orlando area. This made his life, and his family’s, much easier. These Bahama Bay retreats are an important program that is made possible generous donations.
Wounded Warriors Family Support’s mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured, or killed during combat operations. Rated a four-star nonprofit by Charity Navigator, WWFS supports veterans and their families, even after physical needs are met, to help them heal, recover, and reconnect. WWFS provides the following services free of charge to veterans and their families:
• Caregiver Respite Services to ensure that family members who are thrust into caregiver roles are provided with the support they need to keep their families intact while keeping themselves healthy.
• Family Programs that give wounded veterans a chance to heal and reconnect with their loved ones in a peaceful, non-stress environment, strengthening the bonds of their families and making lasting memories.
• Veterans Welding Training Program, a partnership with UAW-Ford, provides veterans with skills to pursue in-demand careers in welding. The program prepares veterans to pursue apprenticeships and entry-level positions in welding.
• Native American Veterans Support, Transition, and Respite (NAVSTaR) Program, provides vehicles to Native American tribes to assists in getting veterans to and from VA hospitals. Many tribes are hundreds of miles from the nearest facility and are in need of safe, reliable transportation.