Sergeant Merlin German, USMC
Sergeant Merlin German, USMC, died on April 11th, after more than a hundred surgeries. He had become an inspiration for his attitude and refusal to give in.
This is from his website:
“In September 2004, Sergeant German’s unit was attached to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines and became part of Weapons Platoon for convoy security. His unit was charged with safely transporting prisoners and cargo, and Sgt. German participated in over 150 successful missions. Sergeant German’s Platoon Sergeant and Company Commander applauded him for his keen sense of spotting improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
“In the first six months of deployment, Sergeant German found 8 IEDs without anyone sustaining injuries. On 21 February 2005, Sergeant German’s squad was on a mission to recon an unknown route from Jordan to Baghdad. While en route to Camp Ramadi, Sergeant German spotted an IED while standing in the turret at his Mk-19 machine gun. With no time to alert the driver, their HUMVEE was hit on a left side by a gas-fed shape charge explosive. Sergeant German was blown clear of the vehicle, and his fellow Marines helped extinguish the flames that had quickly burned 97% of his total body surface area.
“Sergeant German was immediately transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where doctors stated Sergeant German had NO chance of living. He had a quick turn-around flight to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio and he arrived on 25 February 2005. He was cared for as an inpatient for 17 months, and then resided as a guest of the Fisher House before purchasing his own home in San Antonio.
“He fought bravely for more than three years but died in the hospital on Friday, Apr. 11, while recovering from his most recent operation. ”
Merlin began a non-profit organization called “Merlin’s Miracles”, to help burned children and their families – sort of a “Make a Wish” for young burn patients. (If you would like to donate, click here.) He designed a tee-shirt to raise money for Merlin’s Miracles, which says it all about his attitude.
This is the front:
This is the back:
“All of the above” is circled. It took him four hours to sign his name, but he got it done.
Merlin lived his life with gusto and dignity. He is no longer with us, but his footprints will remain a long, long time. Sergeant Merlin Germany, USMC, is our hero of the week.