Saturday, March 5, 2016

Orlando Rocks for Air Force Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers

Today at the VFW Post 4287 in Orlando, Semper Fidelis America Orlando Rocks for Air Force Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers. This is the 4th Annual event for Orlando Rocks begun by one woman with a passion and vision for our veterans, Mary Louise and you can see past events below but for now, this is Joe's day.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeremiah Jackson, left, Air Force Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers, center, and Army Master Sgt. Guertin, rear, begin the procession for a wreath laying ceremony at the Bellingham, Mass., war memorial, May 19, 2013. Master Sgt. Deslauriers, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron and Bellingham, Mass., native, received a Silver Star for gallantry in action.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Belena S. Marquez/Released)
September 2012 Warrior in the Spotlight - MSGT Joe Deslauriers
Technical Sergeant Joseph R. Deslauriers was born in Bellingham, Massachusetts, a small town southwest of Boston. He is the son of Joseph and Muriel Deslauriers, and brother to Celeste. Joe attended Bellingham Junior as well as Bellingham Senior High Schools where he lettered in football and baseball. He graduated from high school on June 6th, 1996 and was accepted to Framingham State College (Mass) where he continued to play football.

After attending Framingham State College for one year, Joe returned back to Bellingham and decided to join the United States Air Force. His desire was to serve his country and to travel and so he joined the Air Force on February 18, 1998. After graduating basic training Joe attended technical training at Eglin Air Force Base Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) phase one and then went on to phase two of training at Indian Head, Maryland. Upon graduation of EOD technical training school, Joe was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany. While stationed there, Joe deployed to Gioia de Colle, Italy for Operation Allied Force during the Kosovo campaign. He then returned to Germany for three more months where he then deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Southern Watch. After returning from Kuwait, he PCS’d to Osan Air Force Base, Republic of Korea where he served as an EOD technician. From Korea, Joe was transferred to Hurlburt Field, FL home of the US Air Force Special Operations Command where he is currently stationed. While stationed there, he has deployed to Iraq in support of OIF and to Afghanistan three times in support of OEF. Joe also has also deployed to Africa in support of AFSOC operations as well. Joe married his sweetheart Lisa on 13 Nov 2010 and deployed to his last OEF tour a few months later

While on his last deployment in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, Joe was conducting route clearance operations for a US Marine Combat Engineer Battalion when 3 IED blasts occurred. During the post blast investigation, Joe stepped on a pressure plate in an area which had already been swept and deemed clear. He had walked over the area on four different occasions and was returning to his vehicle when the blast occurred. His injuries were catastrophic Joe received an amputation of both legs above the knees and an amputation of his left arm below the elbow. Additionally, Joe also suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and is now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Jan 14, 2013

On Saturday Semper Fidelis held a fundraiser for a Green Beret, double amputee at the VFW Post 4287 in Orlando. Mary Ingrassia arranged the event and all of her hard work paid off. Everyone had a great time and over $10,000 was raised for Josh's recovery. 

Jan 19, 2014

Last night proved beyond a doubt that when people come together for a common cause, mountains are moved out of the way!

Last year, Mary Ingrassia heard about a Green Beret double amputee Josh Burnette and decided to do something to help him. Semper Fidelis America President John Murphy has always been about team work. Just ask any of the veterans groups in Central Florida and they will tell you how active he and his wife Teresa are. Doug Pattelena, Commander VFW Post 4287 also knows this. Because they worked together, Josh knew how much he was loved with a fabulous night of appreciation, fun and over $10,000 in donations for his future.

Durning the event Mary heard about another young combat wounded hero, Bo Reichenbach. Bo, a Navy SEAL, lost both of his legs in 2012 while serving in Afghanistan. It was his time to be star of the show at the VFW.

Even Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer sent a proclamation declaring Bo Reichenbach Day!

       Jan. 18, 2015
Marine Cpl. Adam Devine was honored by a huge crowd on January 17th at the VFW Post 4287 in Orlando, sponsored by Semper Fidelis America. Adam was wounded in Afghanistan. This is from the motorcycle escort thru the streets of Orlando.

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