“Make A Hero gave me back what I lost while serving in Afghanistan.”
~ Jesse Murphree, Purple Heart, US Army Corporal
Afghanistan War Veteran, Corporal Jesse Murphree, and Vietnam War Veteran, Jim Martinson, have joined Make A Hero’s movement towards inspiring individuals with disabilities, including Wounded American Veterans like themselves, to live an active life through adaptive sports & recreation.
Through generous donor support of Make A Hero’s ‘Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’, the dream of raising enough funding to gift Jesse with a K-9 service dog can become a reality. In support of this effort, Jesse received television news coverage on Veteran’s Day, which can be viewed by clicking here. As of February 2014, three major Colorado news sources featured a story about the fundraiser for Corporal Murphree & Jasper:
In honor of Jesse, and wounded veterans of all US wars, Make A Hero’s ‘Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’ is now set in place to facilitate select, life-changing experiences for wounded American veterans who have become disabled while protecting and serving the United States of America through any military branch.
Initial funds raised through ‘Make A Hero’s Wounded Military Fighters Fund’ will go directly towards the gift of a trained K-9 service dog, name Jasper, to assist Corporal Jesse Murphree as a companion and aid.
Please continue reading and consider donating to ‘Make A Hero’s Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’ by clicking here.
— VA OEF OIF (@VA_OEF_OIF) February 19, 2014
Why Fundraising for a Service Dog is a Worthy Cause
K-9 service dogs are more than just fun, furry pets.
These trained specialists have proven to highly impact the well being of veterans as they return to American soil and assimilate to their day-to-day lives.
Nearly half a million former troops are reportedly affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other battle-related disabilities. The rehabilitation solution isn’t singular nor cut and dry. As a result, instances of substance abuse, divorce, and suicide attempts greatly outnumber those of the average civilian.
K-9 service dogs have proven to dramatically reverse these negative consequences. Additionally, in time, the result of K-9 companionship has led to an increase in veterans re-entering the workforce, which leads to a lesser reliance on public aid. It’s seems K-9 service dogs are a win-win solution for rehabilitating wounded veterans.
K-9 service dogs often cost several thousand dollars to purchase, given the amount of time and energy necessary for professional handling and training costs.
This is why Make A Hero is calling to action the generous support of donors willing to contribute to the ‘Make A Hero Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’ today.
It is difficult to imagine a more deserving recipient of a service dog than Corporal Jesse Murphree. Continue reading Jesse’s bio and consider donating to ‘Make A Hero’s Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’ by clicking here.
— VA OEF OIF (@VA_OEF_OIF) February 19, 2014
Meet Afghanistan War Veteran: Corporal Jesse Murphree
“Make A Hero gave me back my confidence which helped me regain my sense of freedom. They re-introduced me to the freedom of skiing. They gave me the confidence to believe that now I can do anything. Make A Hero helps enable individuals with disabilities to regain freedom through sports and recreation … I’m living proof. You can help change the lives of our country’s heroes, join me in supporting Make A Hero!”.
~ Jesse Murphree, US Army Corporal
Corporal Jesse Murphree is a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star recipient and a true American Hero.
While serving in the US Army, Jesse, a Niwot, Colorado native, was deployed to Afghanistan where he was traumatically injured by an explosion that nearly ended his life. Corporal Murphree survived more than 57 surgeries, 6 ‘deaths’ on the operating table, as well as the loss of both of his legs (above the knee) to amputation.
Four years after returning to his home state of Colorado, Jesse responded to Make A Hero’s contest with radio station, KBCO (Denver, CO). Read the full letter that Jesse submitted to the KBCO contest by clicking here.
The contest offered individuals with disabilities, willing to share their inspiring story, a chance to be featured in the upcoming film, ‘The Current’, as an adaptive athlete learning to scuba dive, snorkel, and explore the healing powers of the ocean.
Jesse became the contest’s recipient and was invited to attend the premiere of Make A Hero’s first film ‘The Movement‘ at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He was also given the unique opportunity with the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah, to join his best friend Nate on the slopes.
(Jesse learning to mono-ski with Make A Hero)
(Jesse Murphree in ‘The Current‘, premiering March 12th on EPIX)
Through generous donor support of Make A Hero’s ‘Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’, the dream of raising enough funds to gift Jesse with a K-9 service dog can become a reality. In support of this effort, Jesse received television news coverage on Veteran’s Day, which can be viewed by clicking here. As of February 2014, three major Colorado news sources featured a story about the fundraiser for Corporal Murphree & Jasper:
Jesse is one of many wounded veterans (of all military branches) that Make A Hero aims to help in their process of regaining freedom and mobility through participation in adaptive sports & recreation.
The US Dept of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are 2.9 million disabled veterans in the US with 830,000 veterans that fought in Vietnam alone suffering from PTSD.
Continue reading about Vietnam War Wounded Veteran and adaptive sports forefather, Jim Martinson and consider donating to ‘Make A Hero’s Wounded Military Fighter’s Fund’ by clicking here.
Meet Vietnam War Wounded Veteran: Jim Martinson
Jim was featured as one of the main characters in Make A Hero’s first film, ‘The Movement’ (film trailer, below) which features him as a mentor to the late Universal Pictures Executive Rick Finkelstein.
Jim Martinson is a founding father of adaptive sports, a three sport Paralympian, Four-time gold medalist monoskier, an outright winner of the Boston Marathon, and a double amputee.
Jim lost his legs after a ‘bouncing betty’ landmine exploded in Vietnam in 1968. After waking up from a medically induced coma he looked down at the end of the bed and saw that both of his legs were gone, but Jim refused to give up.
“I did not allow the accident to break my will. I returned to the US and, following the start of my recovery, began my journey in a wheelchair. Before long, I became what some people call a pioneer of disabled sports, fighting for — and winning —acceptance of wheelchair categories. Back then there wasn’t a lot of sports going on and pretty much anything you created, you created on your own.”
~ Jim Martinson
Jim Martinson is a shinning example of the amazing recovery that can be accomplished through participation in adaptive sports and recreation. His goal is to serve as an ambassador to all wounded veterans, not just those injured in recent battle. Mr. Martinson aims to share his passion for sports, encouraging more veterans and disabled individuals to get active and reengaged in their lives.
“Hello, my name is Jesse Murphree and I am from Broomfield, CO. I am 24 years old and a bilateral above the knee amputee. I had grown up skiing/snowboarding since I was around five to six years old. I lived on the mountain and once I was old enough to drive I was riding about 2-4 times a week depending on if I was hurt yet. Whether it was hucking my body off of a kicker in the park, riding off the rocks/cliffs, or just gliding on fresh powder. That was my peace on earth and I was always looking to push it to the edge.
After 9/11 I was torn between living up on the mountain and riding or joining the military when I graduated. Right after the summer of ’05 I made the decision to join the U.S. Army. I ended up being stationed in Vicenza, Italy with 2-503 173rd Airborne Combat team.
The best thing was that I got to go ride all around Europe. Then last place I was riding was in Austria so I felt kind of blessed. I was then deployed to a remote location up in northeastern Afghanis tan called the Korengal Valley. I was there for around 9 months but on December 27, 2007 I went on a mission to over watch some of our guys as they went into a village to extract two prisoners.
We brought four trucks out to provide over watch and also take the prisoners back to the main outpost. I was in the turret of the third vehicle where we happened to park right on top of the IED. Once our guys moved out of the village an dropped the prisoners off to us I was blown up by a Russian anti tank mine and a 120 artillery shell which was detonated by a command switch of a guy hiding below our position.
I was thrown 150 meters of the side of the mountain where I had to scream in between machine gun burst for help. They hit us with PKM machine guns and RPG’s. It took my guys 5-10 mins to locate me and get down to my side. They then had to get me to a location where I could be picked up by the helicopter and evacted out to the nearest cash. I flat-lined multiple times starting right when I got to the helicopter.
I suffered multiple amputations, a shattered arm, internal injuries, minor burns and traumatic brain injury. I now have had over 54 surgeries, countless hours of physical, occupational, and cognitive therapy but its safe to say that I am the best that I have ever been.
I had tried to get back on the snow right after my injury but it was to soon for me to be able to actually ride. As of today, I am helping out a foundation called Troops First and waiting to start classes. I sky dive, ride ATV’s, play golf, and I lift weights once to twice a day. I now believe I am ready to be able to get back on the snow and not only enjoy the mountain again but also overcome the setbacks that my injury had given me.
I think about the mountain nearly everyday and just want to be able to be back with my friends and most importantly be next to my 13 year old brother and teaching him how to board. But also every time I overcome an obstacle it makes me feel a little bit better knowing that I’m still going and I’m doing it for my buddies that use to tear it up on the mountain that passed away. It’s the ultimate payback to the people that did this to us.
US Army Corporal
Battle Company 2-503rd
173rd Airborne Combat Team
*** Make A Hero is a registered 501(c)3, non-profit, creating adaptive sports films and media content, inspiring individuals with disabilities to enjoy the freedom of participation in adaptive sports & recreation.
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