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Standing on his own 2 feet with the help of a few Marines (TISSUE ALERT)
Marine Corps News ^ | Aug 19, 2005 | Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander

Posted on 08/19/2005 6:10:35 PM PDT by SandRat

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Aug. 18, 2005) -- To any casual observer visiting the F-11A pistol and battlesight zero range here, 1st Lt. Charles E. Hayter, a 26-year-old native of Billings, Mont., looks like any run-of-the-mill platoon commander… standing, watching over his Marines as they zero their rifles before they deploy to Iraq.

A closer examination might reveal otherwise, but it would have to be a real close observation. The only telltale sign would be the tightness of one boot over the other and it’s rigid appearance, because inside that boot exists a prosthetic. Hayter, platoon commander for the Mobile Assault Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, has no right foot.

On July 9, 2004, Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, led by then-2nd Lt. Hayter, left the perimeter at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, to investigate the sight where a U.S. Army patrol received fire the day prior.

“We moved about seven [kilometers] northeast of Bagram and established a [Vehicle Check Point] for a while, we then mounted up and moved to where the firefight took place,” said Hayter.

At the supposed spot where the previous day’s fighting took place, they found what seemed to be a well-traveled foot trail, according to Hayter.

“We dismounted the Humvee’s and swept up the trail, four Marines on the left and four on the right. I made it about 15 feet and stepped on an Italian toe popper,” he said.

An Italian toe-popper is a small anti-personnel landmine. The mine shredded his foot and immediately cauterized the wound.

“It hurt like you wouldn’t believe,” said Hayter.

After the detonation, Hayter remained standing. He slowly turned around, sat down and gathered his wits about him.

At this point, the Marines around him, though constantly vigil before the explosion, took control. The Marines in the patrol immediately established security and began clearing the way for mines to Hayter to get him medical attention and evacuate him. One of his lance corporals called in for the medical evacuation, or Medevac, according to Hayter.

The whole process of getting Hayter back to Bagram Airbase was conducted professionally and quickly. According to Hayter, the 30-minute drive to get to where he was wounded took the Marines about eight minutes on the return trip.

“Things were done as they were supposed to be. My Marines did it right,” he said.

Once back at Bagram, he immediately went in to surgery and soon after was evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

“At Germany, I had some [camouflage utilities] with me and got a hold of some crutches and went and sought out other wounded Marines,” said Hayter.

Meeting the wounded Marines, most coming out of Iraq, served as a huge element of motivation for Hayter, he said.

After spending roughly four days in Germany, he was further evacuated to the United States, namely Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. At Andrews, he again sought out Marines and teamed up with a sergeant. At one point during his stay at Andrews, Hayter and the sergeant came across a wounded Marine who cut a Mohawk in his hair, a definite breach of regulations.

“I just looked at the sergeant who knew exactly what I meant. The sergeant went over and squared the Marine away. Good order and discipline existed among the wounded,” he said.

He arrived back at Camp Lejeune soon after and was promoted to first lieutenant as well as received countless visits from various Marines aboard base including Brig. Gen. Mastin M. Robeson, currently the III Marine Expeditionary Force deputy commanding general.

However, the newly promoted Hayter had a decision to make.

“Everyone was talking to me about medical retirement and what my options are after the Marines Corps. At [Naval Medical Center Portsmouth] I met a Navy SEAL who had had a limb amputated but was working toward going back on full duty with a SEAL Team and deployed with them. That’s when I decided to stay in the Marines,” Hayter explained.

His foot, however, was still a concern. He still had his heel and after numerous reconstructive surgeries would still be able to keep his foot. The other option given to amputate his leg at mid-shin. The recovery time would be faster and would get him back to work just as fast.

Hayter did what most people would abhor, he opted for amputation.

After spending only nine days at Portsmouth, he returned to Camp Lejeune and checked in to the 6th Marine Regimental Headquarters and immediately went to conducting his own physical training… getting back in shape.

“When I would go to the gym, other Marines would come up to me and say I motivate them. To me, it was the other way around. It’s what’s instilled, the ability to adapt and overcome. I hope all Marines can do the same,” he said.

The regimental headquarters started a football team, knowing Hayter’s love for the game. Hayter had played during his days at Carroll College in Wisconsin.

Three months after his amputation, he was back on the field.

“No one felt sorry for me, they basically told me to ‘suck it up’ which really helped,” said Hayter.

Lieutenant Col. Julian D. Alford, commanding officer, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, offered Hayter the command of a platoon in the battalion if he was able to get back on full duty status. Once Hayter felt he was able to return, he made the trip to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he was screened.

“I met a lot of wounded Marines there who wanted to return to full duty. I drew strength from them,” he said.

At Walter Reed, they gave him the final stamp of approval to return to full duty as an amputee. He then took command of a platoon in 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines as promised, where he serves today. With his most recent run time of 26:40 on his Physical Fitness Test, he should have no problem staying in the Marine Corps as long as he’s needed.

“When a Marine gets wounded, he doesn’t want to feel alienated, he wants to feel he still belongs and that he’s still able to be a value to the Marine Corps. The biggest thing we can do for our fallen is to take these guys in, not baby them, give them a challenge, and make them feel like Marines again,” Hayter said. “I love Marines. I think God’s greatest creation is the United States Marine Corps.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: North Carolina; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2feet; afghanistan; camplejeune; help; humvee; iraq; landmine; marines; oef; oefveterans; onown; prosthetic; prosthetics; standing; wia
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Many images at source.
1 posted on 08/19/2005 6:10:43 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Kathy in Alaska; Fawnn; HiJinx; Radix; Spotsy; Diva Betsy Ross; ...
I'm not kidding around! You'll need this
2 posted on 08/19/2005 6:11:41 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

'Rat on a roll tonight!

Thanks for all the great threads!


3 posted on 08/19/2005 6:15:40 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Searching For The Next Best Tagline)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Yep on a real roll. Only one story left from the dot mil reasearch left.


4 posted on 08/19/2005 6:19:26 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Great post! God bless this kid and all our military!


5 posted on 08/19/2005 6:19:40 PM PDT by 05 Mustang GT Rocks
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To: SandRat

Yet another story of a troop that lost a limb and is *still* going back.

This is pretty much unprecedented in the annals of modern warfare. Our enemies should be worried.


6 posted on 08/19/2005 6:21:09 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: SandRat

Thank you for the Kleenex SR. :)


7 posted on 08/19/2005 6:22:50 PM PDT by EsmeraldaA
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To: SandRat
Worth repeating (even though I'm ARMY):

“When a Marine gets wounded, he doesn’t want to feel alienated, he wants to feel he still belongs and that he’s still able to be a value to the Marine Corps. The biggest thing we can do for our fallen is to take these guys in, not baby them, give them a challenge, and make them feel like Marines again,” Hayter said. “I love Marines. I think God’s greatest creation is the United States Marine Corps.”

8 posted on 08/19/2005 6:24:25 PM PDT by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: SandRat

Cool - he went to the same college I did!


9 posted on 08/19/2005 6:25:50 PM PDT by WIladyconservative (Set up a monthly donation to FR - why? because it's The Right Thing to Do!)
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To: SandRat
“When a Marine gets wounded, he doesn’t want to feel alienated, he wants to feel he still belongs and that he’s still able to be a value to the Marine Corps. The biggest thing we can do for our fallen is to take these guys in, not baby them, give them a challenge, and make them feel like Marines again,” Hayter said. “I love Marines. I think God’s greatest creation is the United States Marine Corps.”

Amen. A-men. AMEN!

10 posted on 08/19/2005 6:28:38 PM PDT by Alia
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To: SandRat

Thanks for the post, and for the tissue. Tears, and a thankful heart full of love and pride for him, and for all of our beloved troops whose dedication is absolutely awe inspiring. God bless and keep them close in His providential care.


11 posted on 08/19/2005 6:34:08 PM PDT by LucyJo ("I have overcome the world." "Abide in Me." (John 16:33; 15:4)
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To: SandRat

Attention. Hand Salute.


12 posted on 08/19/2005 7:27:34 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle

"where do we get men like these?"


13 posted on 08/19/2005 8:21:39 PM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: Oldexpat
"where do we get men like these?"

From Alaska to Florida, from Maine to California and all points in between. Our great nation provides these men, and the Marine Corp makes them into the best of the best.

14 posted on 08/19/2005 8:45:04 PM PDT by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash, Rough Neck, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist, Iconoclast (Oil Field Trash was FUN))
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To: Oldexpat

"where do we get men like these?"

God supplies them as required.


15 posted on 08/19/2005 9:06:43 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: SandRat

What an inspiring Devil Dog!


16 posted on 08/19/2005 9:17:52 PM PDT by Coop (www.heroesandtraitors.org)
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To: SandRat

BTTT!!!!!


17 posted on 08/20/2005 3:26:15 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Constitution Day; TaxRelief; 100%FEDUP; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; ~Vor~; A2J; a4drvr; Adder; ...

NC *Ping*

Please FRmail Constitution Day OR TaxRelief OR Alia if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.
18 posted on 08/20/2005 3:43:57 AM PDT by Alia
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To: SandRat; EsmeraldaA; Alia; WIladyconservative; Marine_Uncle; Coop
What did ya expect? He's a MARINE goddammit.

If terrorists, (and certain Democrats) would take the time to read a bit of history about places like Guadalcanal, or Belleau Wood, or the Chosen Reservoir they'd be in a hellava lot less hurry to go out an piss off the United States Marines.

Semper Fi

19 posted on 08/21/2005 12:08:11 PM PDT by An Old Marine (Freedom isn't Free)
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To: An Old Marine

" Semper Fi"

Semper Fi Marine.
Every time the terrorist come out or can be found, they die.


20 posted on 08/21/2005 1:11:32 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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