Courtesy of the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment
“It is going to get better.” Lance Cpl Ben McCrosky would wake up and tell himself this every morning. He is one of the many U.S. service members who have sacrificed their lives and limbs to protect our Nation.
Following in the traditions of his family, McCrosky joined the Marines Corps in 2008. A native of Havelock, N.C., he always enjoyed athletics and the camaraderie that the Marines Corps displayed. For him and his family, April 1, 2010 will always be a tragic day. This is the day that McCrosky sustained multiple fractures to both of his legs and had his left leg amputated. “I was injured by an improvised explosive device, in Marjah Afghanistan,” said McCrosky. “I remember telling myself, it is going to get better. You are going to do a lot more than you are doing now.”
McCrosky would visit Marines in the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Md. This is one of the many places where wounded service members go to rehabilitate and use the latest in cutting edge equipment to help with their recovery. “I would see what they were doing and it would motivate me,” said McCrosky.
From his first visit to the MATC, McCrosky was determined to do the things that he enjoyed before his injuries. So he quickly became involved in the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiments, Warrior Athlete Reconditioning Program. It was there that he played his first game of seated volleyball.
“I have been playing seated volleyball for over two years,” said McCrosky. “I like volleyball because it keeps me moving.”
This month McCrosky and other wounded, ill and injured Marines across the nation are raising awareness about service member’s sacrifices through various events during Warrior Care Month. November 21st he participated in the third annual joint sitting volleyball tournament at the Pentagon Athletic Center in Arlington, Va. The tournament consisted of teams from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Special Operations Command and Veterans Affairs. The Marines took home the gold by defeating the Air Force in the final elimination round.
Warrior Care Month is a services-wide event that spotlights the many achievements and contributions of wounded warriors. It also recognizes the support provided by their families and caregivers. This year’s theme is “Warrior Care – Building a Ready and Resilient Force.”
“Warrior Care Month is just another opportunity for us to raise awareness of the things [service member] have been through,” said McCrosky. Throughout the month, the Marine Corps will continue to emphasize the importance of warrior care and how it contributes to a “ready and resilient force.” For more information about Warrior Care Month, please visit http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/0913_warriorcare/.
Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and enable assistance to combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines, and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental Headquarters, located in Quantico, Va., oversees the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., as well as multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment, please visit www.woundedwarriorregiment.org, http://facebook.com/wwr.usmc, or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 877-487-6299.