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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

David 'D.J.' Emery Jr., of Bellefonte Receives his Purple Heart

Back in April, I told you about DJ Emery and his wife Leslie.

Marine Corporal David Emery Jr. of the Battalion Landing Team of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit was serving in Iraq. David, aka "DJ", graduated high school in 2003. DJ's unit was extended past their rotation date of January 1st and he was hoping to make it home in time for his child's birth.

On February 7th, 2007, DJ was at a checkpoint near a crowded place when a terrorist walked up to the Marines. DJ's Battalion Sergeant Major, Joseph Ellis (a recon Marine of 23 years), suspected that a bomber was approaching and put himself between the bomber and his Marines.

The bomber quickly detonated himself, instantly killing Sergeant Major Ellis. The Sergeant Major's sacrifice absorbed enough of the blast to barely keep DJ from being killed. DJ was hit hard in his abdomen - an artery was cut causing kidney failure - both legs and one arm were shattered, and, in fact, his wounds were so severe that doctors didn't think that he'd make it. On the 18th, DJ was strong enough to make the trip from Germany to the US (Bethesda). DJ is still fighting for his life.

CarePages sends me daily updates on DJ and his progress. Honestly, I don't know how he has done it. There were points in time I thought every update might bring bad news, but by DJ's will power and that of his mother, Connie and wife, Leslie, and the prayers of those who love him, DJ is making slow, very slow, progress.

DJ finally gets to hold his new baby girl, Carlee.

President Bush presents Marine Sgt. David D.J. Emery Jr., of Bellefonte with a Purple Heart Friday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. I think the President invited DJ to visit him at the White House when he is able.

DJ is moving this week to Walter Reed and will probably sometime in the near future be at Fisher House or a facility like it.

Go back and pledge. You need to and you know you want to.

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