The Loss of a Loved One

The Roller Coaster of Emotional Loss of a Loved One
The Loss of Liberty burdened me deeply and left me feeling alone, emotional and loss of purpose to be who I became over the last two years. The guidance and help with Post Traumatic Stress, losing more time, and how I’d go about mentoring others where all in question. How could I move forward without the presence of my service dog? It led to an emotional breakdown, in the ER with panic attacks, and a mode of depression that followed. If it wasn’t for the constant support of my family, friends, TAV(Behesha and Doc Hunter), Semper Fi Fund and unbeknown to me at the time two lovely ladies who started raising money for me to get another Doberman, Karen Straffon and Jolanthe Bassett I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am. Which brings me to say thank you and to take the positive Liberty provided verse the negative I have been experiencing. Liberty helped me in ways I will forever be grateful, emotionally strengthened me, showed me I had feelings, Empathy and warmed an ice cold heart after my stent in the Marine Corps. She showed me what happiness was and is, memories I will cherish forever. It is support like this that our Veterans need across our nation at this trivial time as 250,000 men and women become Veterans a year for the next three years. I am asking America to help me help others by adopting The Fight Continues and becoming a part of a support network that can save thousands. We as Veterans need your help in putting District Injured Support Coordinators in every state for all branches of our military. They fought for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, so lets fight for them in America and demand the support that’s needed. Semper Fidelis, Eric Calley

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Liberty’s Legacy

Liberty was Combat Marine Eric Calley’s PTSD Service Dog. Liberty was Eric’s lifeline.
“Even after countless types of therapy and numerous drugs to help control the hyper-vigilance, paranoia, flash backs, anxiety attacks and reoccurring night terrors, the best people afflicted by PTSD are able to typically feel is “numb”. All of the above challenges still occur daily. What has changed is their ability to care, feel or connect with their families or communities. This in itself causes a spiral of depression and dissociative behaviors further compounding their issues”. For some Veterans the introduction of a Service Dog changes their patterns and help them to better navigate through their new lives together.”
Eric’s lifeline, Liberty, died from cancer in February of this year.
It is our goal through Liberty’s Legacy to raise funds to get him a new PSTD Service Dog. Please consider a donation no matter the amount to help Combat Marine Eric Calley. He has served our country proudly and still continues to serve through his own organization, The Fight Continues, by helping other veterans suffering from the unseen wounds of war.
- To See more and donate go to Liberty’s Legacy at 936006_3526461616884_452849657_n

Warrior Odyssey/ Semper Fi Odyssey

The pictures below are from our last successful trip to Warrior Odyssey/ Semper Fi Odyssey. The Fight Continues was able to get nine veterans to join the other twenty Active Duty Wounded Transitioning Marines up on the mountain in Pennsylvania. TFC had two volunteers that took a week off of work to drive four veterans to the retreat and back in white out weather conditions. In that one week one of those volunteers put more then 3,500 miles on his car. The pictures below are when the Veterans get to visit Flight 93 Memorial. Also a couple of the Mountain Retreat. This is what your Donations go towards. VETERANS HELPING VETERANS. We volunteer our time and do not get paid. Please help us get more Vets help.1076959_600854786669991_1477476610_o 1798497_600856570003146_776947199_n 1890469_600853220003481_1132848207_o 1901643_600853390003464_1515638484_n 1901874_600853350003468_1404831954_n 1959934_600856466669823_107718459_n 10003980_600854926669977_80490983_n

The Life of Liberty

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6 years ago Liberty a 6 week old puppy who turned out to be the best thing for a combat Marine who was having issues with transitioning into civilian life. And before I knew it, Liberty and I were connected in a way I’ve never connected with a dog. She lifted my spirits, slept next to me and watched over me like a guardian angel. As our bond grew, I grew, and as I grew, our bond deepened. She could tell my emotions, when I was happy or sad, and knew exactly what to do and when to do it. The unconditional love and companionship helped mold me into who I am today. For a Veteran, a companion like Liberty can only be described as a comrade in arms, a brother, someone to help feel more comfortable in their surroundings and essentially your soul mate. Liberty helped guide me through 6 years of anger, emotion, ups and downs, the good times and the bad times. Once liberty was certified by This Able Veteran in Carbondale, Illinois, I traveled down to train with her, which when I first saw her, I was so proud of what she had accomplished. When we came back together, she lit the fire underneath my feet, how attentive and loving she was, (It was a long 6 months). But as I realized after I arrived back to Michigan and began using liberty to help me outreach to other Veterans did I see her outreach to other Veterans that had some of the same tendencies as I. It dawned on me; God put her in my life to not only help me, but to open the doors for others to get help. Many times as I was speaking to VFW’s or American Legions, Liberty would key in on a few Veterans and I would let them pet her, she’d lick them and 9 out of 10 that Veteran would thank me for Liberty making their night better. I think back at how many Veterans where affected by Liberty, and I am saddened on how many didn’t get to meet her. That day in Pennsylvania when Liberty slipped and fell on the ice, we didn’t think anything of it for an hour until we could tell something was wrong. Liberty loved Semper Fi Odyssey, thirty combat Veterans to nurture and love on, to help those Veterans and Marines gain the courage to take strength in what they’ve accomplished. It was Liberty’s third time and last time, after testing at the Animal hospital, turns out Liberty’s liver was two times the size it was supposed to be and when she fell, the cancerous nodes in her liver ruptured. Out of all of this, the positive side was finding out this way insured my family could say good bye and I could say good bye. I transported her home and after careful consideration and the fact I wanted her to die at home we decided to do the inevitable. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I thought about it like I was pulling the plug on my companion or soul-mate. The doctor came up to my room where Liberty and I were sitting on the floor, started filling up the needle. I turned on the Marine Corps Hymn as he injected her. She died a war hero, my war hero. She helped me fight the demons created in war (ptsd) and showed me a better path to take in life. I like to think she is now up guarding Heavens Gates with my buddy Zach waiting for me to cross a long time from now. She will never be forgotten and will live on in my heart forever.

Why One Iraq Veteran Supports Limited US Military Intervention in Syria

This week we’ve also been asking veterans about their thoughts on a possible US strike in Syria.

James Sperry is a Marine and a veteran of the Iraq War.

He was wounded in 2004 in the Battle of Fallujah.

He now directs an organization called The Fight Continues helping support veterans with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries.

Sperry responded to our question with a rather passionate plea on Syria.

To listen to this full interview please click here

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Eric and Mark were featured on St Louis KSDK In a News Story

Image89Yesterday Eric Calley and Mark Young were contacted by Casey Nolan from KSDK News Channel 5 in St. Louis about the work they are doing they are doing in Moore, Oklahoma. Below is couple of the news videos they taped for the show yesterday.

The Fight Continues Commercial

We recently had created a commercial to showcase our Organization The Fight Continues please see the video below:

Veterans Texas Version from Life in Lansing on Vimeo.

Semper FI Odyssey

The Fight Continues is proud to announce, that we have partnered with “The Odyssey
Program(TOP)” in Boswell,Pennsylvania. TOP has helped over one thousand wounded
United States Marines transition back into civilian life. We are proud to say that we will
be recruiting veterans for their future classes and providing the long-term aftercare. That
is needed to help that veteran and his/her family make a successful transition.
Maj. See orignal Document Below:

Raytheon-SVA Scholarship

We received information today about the Raytheon-SVA-Scholarship and we wanted to pass this onto our readers in case anyone is looking into scholarships. The Student Veterans of America & Raytheon  are parterning to offer three STEM Scholarships to student veterans each worth $10,000. In order to be eligible for this scholarship you must be pursuing achieving a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree in either science, technology, engineering or math. You must fill out the scholarship forms no later than July 12, 2013 to be considered for one of the three scholarships being offered. For further information or see if you can qualify for these scholarships please click here to read  more.

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James Radio Interview on WJPF 1020 AM

James Sperry was featured in an interview on 4/16/13 discussing the issues that our Veterans face when they start coming home, including the severe lack of transitional services. James shares is own personal experiences of serving in Iraq, and goes into discussing the lack of transitional services available and how The Fight Continues is trying to fix this. This is a great interview and you can listen to it fully at  this link here.

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Order the new book featuring James Sperry by Kevin Sites Click here to order yours today!