Marine Recipient Of Purple Heart Needs Help For Next Mission

By Kelly Werthmann

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A Retired Marine living in Longmont is asking for help on his next mission.

Sgt. John Reid is headed to Traverse City, Michigan on Nov. 5 to compete in the Iceman Cometh, a 30-mile bike race, and he’s doing it for a very special reason.

“For me, you’ve got to pay it forward,” Reid told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “I joined the infantry because I wanted to fight.”

CBS4's Kelly Werthmann interviews Sgt. John Reid (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Sgt. John Reid (credit: CBS)

Reid joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007, eager to serve his country. He would serve in two deployments to Asia before a third deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

Reid’s basement has been converted to his so-called “man cave,” filled with pictures and keepsakes from his service.

“It’s very nice to have and stare and look at and think of them every day,” he said as he admired a treasured gift from his fellow Marines.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Among the many medals and ribbons is the Purple Heart he received from his final fight overseas. On Oct. 23, 2011 Reid was hit by enemy fire as his squad was setting up a security perimeter.

“It was a very thick round, about the size of your pinkie, and it went through my entire arm, pretty much shattering every bone in its path,” Reid explained as he touched the long scar that stretches along his right arm. “Then it popped out where you can see the exit wound is.”

John Reid (credit: CBS)

John Reid (credit: CBS)

Reid said he was quickly taken to a nearby medical unit before later being transferred to a hospital in the U.S. There is where he met a member of the Semper Fi Fund, an organization that helps wounded Marines and their families as they recover. That group, Reid said, was especially helpful to his wife, who was pregnant with their first daughter when he was shot.

“I can never pay them back any amount of money for what they’ve done for me,” Reid said.

John Reid (right) (credit: CBS)

John Reid (right) (credit: CBS)

But that will not stop the retired Marine from trying. As he prepares for the Iceman Cometh race, Reid is keeping his brotherhood in mind with a goal of raising $5,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. Showing support through sport, he said, has given him back his “warrior spirit” and one that keeps him always faithful to those he thinks about every day.

“They may not think they’re struggling or they may be too afraid to ask for help, but I know the Semper Fi Fund is going to figure out a way to help them, they always do,” Reid said. “They did it with me and I know they can do it with anyone.”

John Reid (credit: CBS)

John Reid (credit: CBS)

Additional Resources

To help Reid reach his goal, visit fundraising.semperfifund.org/icemancometh.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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