We usually talk about the men and women who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice in these ongoing wars, but today I want to speak of one man who survived.  On August 16, 2009, MSgt Eden Pearl (2d MARSOC) was traveling in a vehicle that was struck by an IED. He was thrown 30 feet from the vehicle and engulfed in flames. He suffered burns on 95% of his body and a traumatic brain injury. Due to the severity of his injuries, he had both of his legs and one of his arms amputated.

Eden and I were “ropes” together at 2d Recon Bn, so it’s safe to say we went through a bit of thrashing. I have to say that Eden is “that guy.” That guy that makes everything you’re going through look easy. That guy that is there telling you “come on brother, this ain’t nothing but a thing” when you’re hurting. That guy that epitomizes what a Special Operator is, both in being a tactically sound professional and in being a kind-hearted man. He is, by far, the strongest guy I know.

One of the most difficult things that I’ve ever dealt with in my life was visiting Eden shortly after the incident. To see your buddy suffering and in so much pain makes you feel absolutely helpless. It is a very real reminder of how fragile life is, and how in a mere instant it can change. Some doctors have said that Eden is the most severely injured man ever to survive, in the history of the military.

As you can imagine, this has taken a tremendous toll on his wife and young daughter. Brothers in Arms Foundation, a charity that supports families of wounded or fallen Marines and Sailors supporting SOF, has committed to building Eden and his family an accessible house where they can be together and also be close to the rehabilitation facilities that Eden requires.

I’m currently working on a fundraising event to support this mission. COCA Crossfit in Cleveland, Ohio, is running a Hero’s Workout on March 24 to help raise money for Eden and his family. So, I’m asking you to support this very important and personal cause. If you’re in Northeast Ohio, we invite you to come out and participate in the workout (it’s definitely an ass kicker). If you’re not from the area, please take a moment and make a donation to help a Marine that has given so much.

There will be no photographs of Eden, no press releases, no Extreme Makeover shows, merely a brass plaque that hangs on the front of home that reads, “This home was built by X # of grateful Americans for the many sacrifices made for the country.”

Hero Remembered – MSGT John Hayes - 2d Recon Bn

Read Next: Hero Remembered – MSGT John Hayes - 2d Recon Bn

Take a minute to check out the details of the event at www.surviveforeden.com, and please pass this information along.

Semper Fi

Bill