Hailing from a line of heroes who selflessly served our nation, Lance Corporal and Vietnam veteran John Devine joined the Marines after witnessing the courageous sacrifices of his father and uncles, who served our nation during WWII and beyond.
In 1968, John deployed to Vietnam and sustained critical injuries after being hit by a mortar blast, resulting in the loss of his right leg at the hip and severe injuries to his left leg. John was medevaced to safety after witnessing the loss of a fellow Marine, who tragically died in the line of duty right beside him.
Throughout many surgeries and years of rehabilitation, John continued to find new ways to adapt and continually pushed himself to new heights, breaking through any limitations. As a testament to his never give up attitude, John has completed 26 marathons, during which he first encountered Semper Fi & America’s Fund as members of The Fund family supported the participants from the sidelines.
It was then that John heard about The Fund’s LCpl Parsons Welcome Home Fund for Vietnam Veterans. This program cares for veterans from every branch of U.S. Armed Forces who have sustained injuries or illnesses because of Vietnam combat operations. It provides housing grants (adaptive housing, home modification/repair), family support grants (rent, mortgage, utilities), transportation grants (adaptive transportation, vehicle modification/repair), medical care grants for expenses not covered by insurance, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and grants for funeral or cremation expenses. Working closely with John, The Fund fostered communications between John and the VA to make certain that he received the benefits and grants awarded to Vietnam veterans. The Fund also covered the cost of home repairs, including replacing John’s roof, to ensure his safety, comfort, and mobility as an amputee.
In the years since joining The Fund family, John has continued to thrive with the knowledge that The Fund will always be beside him to provide unwavering support. Though currently on a break from his marathon training, John lives a very active lifestyle, completing over 50 pushups daily with a goal of 1,500 per month alongside working out in his wheelchair.
“I think there is a way to get the task at hand accomplished,” said John. “You just have to figure out how and then do it.”
A beacon of light to those around him, John’s tenacity, courage, and determination has created an incredible legacy of service and sacrifice, inspiring those around him to never give up hope.