Cpl (now Sgt) John Peck
Sgt John Peck was severely wounded in Afghanistan. He is a young Marine from Antioch, IL (our neighbor) who was first wounded with a severe head injury. He returned home to deal with his recovery...and he did recover! After his recovery from that injury, he felt compelled to return to his unit...and went back to Afghanistan to continue the fight. Yes, he's an amazing Marine.
Sadly, during his second deployment, he was again severely injured. This time the IED blew off both his legs and one arm. While enduring multiple surgeries to repair some of his injuries, he battled infections that ultimately caused his other arm to have to be amputated, too.
On May 9th, 2011, he returned home to Antioch. Wanting to give back to other soldiers still enduring surgeries, he and his mom, who works for Life Source, arranged to have a blood drive in his honor held at the Antioch VFW during his home coming to help replace the many units of blood he was given during his multiple surgeries.
The Patriot Guard were invited to help Welcome John back home to Antioch and assist in the promotion of the blood drive. I was honored to help welcome home this brave soldier and neighbor!
Patriot Guard members assemble in Antioch to await John's arrival.
Photo ops with Sgt Peck, Antioch Mayor Larry Hanson and other military and community dignitaries.
John's father, proudly wearing a shirt to honor his son.
Getting ready for the loud welcome home.
A local reporter snaps a photo of me in the procession.
We arrive at the VFW.
Silent auctions to benefit John.
HA...I see something *I* want! That Forrest Gump DVD autographed by Gary Sinise (who was Lt Dan, who lost his limbs in the movie) has my name surely written all over it!
Although these Pentagon items are pretty cool, too!
John being interviewed by a local reporter as his dad stands by.
People ask to see the American Flag lapghan I hold to give to John as I wait my turn to meet with him.
I have a wonderful chatty visit with this amazing brave and incredibly spirited Marine and let him know how glad I am that he's alive and home.
What a gentleman! As I was attempting to stand after stooping down on these old knees...he helped *me* up!
A good luck fist bump with John.
A local reporter/photographer asks me for my name and details about my lapghan.
The official ceremony begins with the National Anthem.
Antioch Mayor Hanson reads the official report of John's service and the injuries he endured.
Hearing his experiences read aloud and remembering those moments...clearly painful.
May 9 is now John Peck day, both in Antioch and also in the State of Illinois.
Being teased by his military superiors that he was 'out of uniform'...he was given his VFW Life Member hat.
Just hanging with John and other Antioch neighbors during the rest of the evening's events.
I donated another of my lapghans to the auction to benefit John.
Several people donate pins to get his hat started. I give him my 'Soldiers' Angels on Steel Wheels' pin (note Angel on Motorcycle). I told him to pick any pin from my vest...he wanted the 'chick on the bike.'
HA! I did it...I won the auction for this DVD. MINE! MINE!
A local photographer snaps a shot of the item's winner...ME. HA!
Good luck in your recovery, John...and THANK YOU for your service and sacrifices on our behalf!
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To Dian's Mission page.
To Dian's Angel site.