A US Marine injured in war traveled to southeast Wisconsin to meet a group of strangers who graciously stepped up and helped with his recovery.
Sgt. John Peck, from just across the state line in Antioch, Ill., is lucky to be alive.
“Doctors at one point told my family, ‘hey, get everyone here. He’s got minutes. Not hours, not days, not weeks. He’s got minutes to live,’” Sgt. Peck says.
But he fought back, and continues to beat the odds. The 31-year-old suffered a brain injury in Iraq in 2007. After coming home and recovering, he deployed to Afghanistan, where in 2010, he stepped on an improvised explosive device while searching a compound.
“When I opened up my eyes, I couldn’t see. I had so much sand and soot, dirt in my eyes,” he remembers. “I couldn’t hear. I could tell someone was working on me.”
He lost both of his arms and legs. Last year, he had a successful double arm transplant, one of two people in the world to ever have that procedure. Now, his journey brought him southeast Wisconsin, to say thank you to the Southern Wisconsin All-Airborne Chapter.
“When a guy loses his arms and legs, there’s not enough money in the world to pay these guys back for what they’ve given up,” Dan Boring with the Southern Wisconsin All-Airborne Chapter says.
They helped raise money for Sgt. Peck, and continue to do so for other wounded warriors.
“100 percent of what we raise actually goes to the wounded warriors at Walter Reed, and some in Houston, Texas,” Boring says. “The checks are hand-delivered to them at the hospital.
Sgt. Peck is now hoping to go to culinary school and become a chef.