2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion,
1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Today’s Wednesday’s Hero has a very happy ending!
Stephen Cochran had it all in front of him. Collage, a fiancée and an offer for a professional recording contract. But life had other plans for him. The day was September 11, 2001. “It was just so horrific,” Cochran said. “It’s like I’d been called. I’d never been pulled so hard to do something.”
It may have been the audacity of the attacks, but more likely it was his family’s long history of military service that drew him to enlist, he said. Both grandfathers served, as did an uncle and several other relatives.
So he dropped out of college, walked away from the record deal and joined the United States Marine Corps. “I’ve always been raised very, very patriotic. It’s just what I had to do.”
After serving in Iraq, he and his entire battalion volunteered to go to Afghanistan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit where Cochran was injured in an ambush. 20 yards inside Kandahar, the vehicle he was riding in hit an anti-tank mine and he was thrown from the vehicle and broke the five vertebrae in his lower back.
A PINK FLAMINGO NOTE:
I usually do not add to the Wednesday’s Hero posts, but this one has such a great ending, and we need a happy ending!
“….Today, he’s back on the country music scene and has a deal with Aria Records. His debut album, “Friday Night Fireside,” has received more than favorable reviews.
While music is his passion, Cochran said, he found room for a second passion after his recovery: working to make sure wounded veterans have what they need to recover and live the fullest life possible.
He does this is by working with the Independence Fund, a nonprofit organization that, among other things, provides robotic wheelchairs to veterans confined to wheelchairs. The high-tech chairs can walk stairs and give the veterans their height back, Cochran said.
“They can look everybody in the eye,” Cochran said. “That’s the biggest thing. When I was in a wheelchair … I had to look up at everybody. It was a big shock to your confidence. This raises them up to where they can have a conversation and look you in the eye.”
It has the same technology as the Segway personal transporter, so it won’t fall over, he added.
As amazing as that piece of technology is, Cochran said, bigger things are on the horizon and he’ll do everything he can to make sure veterans have access to them.
“My goal is that the bigger I get in music, the bigger my pulpit can get to preach on my soapbox … and really get more people involved,” he said. “There’s a lot of people in the music business who talk a lot. We just need them to get their checkbooks out now.”
What Cochran said he would really like, however, is for veterans to never have to worry about what comes next.
“I want to have a foundation that covers you from the time you enlist or from the time you’re commissioned until we put you in the ground,” he said. “There is no reason a man shooting a basketball should have to not worry about anything in life, and a man that is ready to take a bullet should.” …”
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
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This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Toni