Mike Slater had the opportunity to talk with some warriors who have benefitted from the AM 760 Radiothon in years past. Watch and listen to their stories below and see how your donation can help.
Wounded Warrior - Cpl. Bolivar Flores
LISTEN to the two-part interview here
Wounded Warrior - Cpl. James Moreno
LISTEN to the interview here
I was born in San Antonio Texas and in 2008 shipped off to MCRD in San Diego for Boot. I got orders to S.O.I ten days later in Camp Pendleton CA...
In S.O.I I went to 0311 Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) to become an infantry man in the United States Marine Corps. I then received orders to 1st Bn 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton.
While serving with 5th Marines my first deployment was to Nawa in Helmand Afghanistan. My unit was part of the biggest helicopter troop insertion since the Vietnam War. During that time, before the incident that brought me here to NMCSD, I was rigorously oriented to learning adaptability and readiness to "turn on a dime" and respond as Marines are expected to. In June 2011 our squad of 11 was on a patrol following a request from an indigenous family to locate and destroy a reported IED placement, using tips from children about where to look. We passed the stacked three rock signal of IED's being somewhere nearby, completed our exploration of one field, and, before returning to base, I made sure all my men back. As the Assistant Patrol Leader, I generally traveled as number two just behind our point man and ahead of the less experienced Marines; on this patrol I put my foot into a field with a lot of disturbed earth, but that had not yet been searched.
When the IED went off life became dreamlike for a moment – at least until I hit the ground – my vision narrowed to light at the end of a tunnel – as I realized there had been an explosion. I was able to call my Squad Leader and Corpsman, but I wasn't able to get up and walk. My left leg wouldn't support me. Members of the squad formed a litter to carry me back to the base some 400 meters away to a bird that got there in only 20 minutes after my injury. There followed a long period of partial awareness, ignorance of the extent of my injuries and a reluctance to ask since I didn't want to hurry the arrival of bad news. Not until I had gone from the military hospital in Afghanistan to the Regional Medical Center in Germany, through Bethesda and finally arriving at NMCSD did a surgeon tell me what had happened. Just about every bone in my left foot had been dislocated – but there were amazingly no fractures.
I am determined to be able to walk on this leg again and I plan to do that walking at a campus while attending college and pursuing a degree, possibly in wildlife management. The idea of an organization such as yours possibly providing me a grant makes that plan that much more attainable.
Wounded Warrior - Cpl. Povas D. Miknaitis
LISTEN to the interview here
I left for Marine Corps boot camp fall of 2006 graduating with a meritorious promotion for knowledge and mastery of Field Skills in Marksmanships....
I then attended the School of Infantry graduating in January of 2007. From there I went on to Recon Training Platoon to prepare for Basic Recon Course. I unfortunately developed tendonitis in both my knees and made it so that I would miss too many days of training in order to fix the issue so I was moved to 3rd BN 4th Marines in Twenty-nine Palms, CA. Once there I was assigned to an Infantry Line Platoon. When the first tryout for their Scout Sniper Platoon was available I tried out. After going through their indoctrination process I discovered I passed and began training with them. I went through Pre-Scout Sniper School graduating second in the class before our Deployment to Iraq in March of 2008. We were tasked with establishing training for Iraqi Military and Police sniper teams. While there we also provided route security and reconnaissance for numerous missions.
While in Iraq in 2008 we received light resistance and it was a fairly calm deployment. Upon returning we continued training and I attended a Combat Hunter Course that entails tracking skills, surveillance skills, and reading body behavior. I then attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in Hawaii, graduating 2nd in this class also. In preparation for our deployment to Afghanistan we went to the Bridgeport Mountain Warfare Training Facility to learn cold weather tactics. Once through we continued our training for our deployment date of early October. In Afghanistan we ran Quick Reaction Missions, Reconnaissance Mission, and Observation mission. The combat in Afghanistan was quite different from what we had seen in Iraq. They were much more militant and you almost knew for sure every time you left the wire you would be receiving heavy fire at some point on that mission.
After only a few missions me, and a number of my other teammates were taken out of the fight when an IED exploded beneath us in the floor of one of the houses that we were entering. My teammates were severely injured as well as myself. I had received a serious head injury and part of face was hanging off. I could not speak and could not hear very well but I still had my arms and legs, so I assisted in stabilizing my teammates before tending to my own injuries. We waited for almost two hours for our Quick Reaction force to get to us with a double amputee and others with very serious injuries. We were very fortunate to keep them alive until help was able to get to us. I was then evacuated to a specialist in Afghanistan and then onto Germany. I now am at Balboa Naval Hospital awaiting a Medical Board for separation.