Master Gunnery Sergeant Ross Blain has never let tremendous hardship stop him from achieving incredible accomplishments.
After faithfully serving our country for over two decades, which included numerous combat deployments to Syria, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Ross suffered combat-related injuries that resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and impairment to his lower back and bilateral knee damage. With The Fund alongside him every step of the way, Ross discovered the hope he needed to keep striving for a brighter future when they provided him with a very special partner — his service dog, Astro.
“After leaving the military, which was something I was invested in for 20+ years, it was probably one of the lowest points of my life. But meeting Astro and building that relationship was this remarkable shift in my mindset,” said Ross. “It’s a very invaluable relationship that a veteran has with his service animal … the soothing that a dog can give you is indescribable and really changes your spirit in a very positive way.”
Along with paying for service dog training and vet bills, The Fund offset the cost of other adaptive devices, assisted with music therapy, and provided family support grants that allowed Ross’ wife and kids to be by his side during recovery.
“The Fund has been a game changer for my family and me,” said Ross as The Fund’s unending, all-encompassing support has made certain that Ross and his family can fully focus on what matters most — his journey to healing.
As a father of six and husband to Gemma, Ross serves as a shining example of living each day with purpose and joy. For him, The Fund is a family that “uplifts and offers positive support and resources.”
“I’m not going to let my disability define my happiness,” he said, adding the advice he often gives to others, “Never stop striving for greatness.”