By Brandon D. Love A lot of people come into the Wounded Warrior's Barracks aboard Camp Lejeune, NC asking many questions: Why me? Where do I go from here? Now what can I do with my career? However, contrary to some of those beliefs, being wounded is not an ending point for these Marines. Today four Marines were promoted, despite being in an injured status. The Marines Sgt. Matthew Horn, Sgt. Robert Hazy, Cpl. Ellis Dodson, and Cpl. Manuel Santiago were promoted to their current ranks today in front of their fellow wounded brothers. "It's a good opportunity to be able to move up in a place like this." explains Dodson. "Even though we're in this place, we can still move up in ranks and stay competitive." Being in the Wounded Warrior's Barracks for almost two years myself, it is great to see these Marines continue on. Some Marines even expressed that it was a relief to be standing in a formation other than that for Purple Hearts. Not only does it improve morale for those promoted but also for the other Marines within the barracks. It lets the newer guys see that this injury; that this barracks is not the end for them. Even if they're heading towards medical retirement, there is always a way to keep moving forward.
Brandon D. Love CPL/USMC WIA 23SEPT2005 AL FALLUJAH, IRAQ