Ill. Marine severely wounded in Afghanistan

May 26, 2010 9:06:30 PM PDT
An Illinois Marine who survived an attack involving an improvised explosive device in Iraq has been severely wounded for the second time. Corporal John Peck lost both legs and an arm.

Corporal Peck has faced death twice. Three years ago in Iraq, the Marine suffered a brain injury when his convoy hit an explosive device. This week in Afghanistan, an IED tore off both of his legs and part of one arm. He's now being treated in Germany.

"He lost three limbs fighting for this country. And that says a lot," said Lisa Krutyholowa, Corporal Peck's mother.

Krutyholowa is a proud but worried mother. Since her son graduated from Antioch High and joined the Marines, she's been wearing his class ring and his picture is always close to her heart. She says even though her son was injured once he still felt compelled to serve.

"He was already injured. He wanted to go back again and serve his country. That tells me I did a good job because I can be proud of my son," said Krutyholowa.

"I am so proud of my brother. He is my hero," said Alysia Krutyholowa, Peck's stepsister.

The 24-year-old Marine just got married on Valentine's Day. His family is grateful he is alive.

That type of injury is one Dr. Thomas Baer has seen. The orthopedic surgeon, who is 56, just returned from Afghanistan, where he helped the wounded right on the front lines - wounded warriors like Peck.

"You know this person is depending on you to save his life. You focus on the job and block out the emotion. You do everything you can to save his life," said Dr. Thomas Baier, Major US Army Reserve.

Dr. Baier joined the Army Reserve after watching one of his sons graduate from boot camp. And he encourages other civilian doctors to step forward.

"These kids are fighting for us. Doctors here should step forward," said Dr. Baier.

It is a civilian sacrifice that has saved others - young lives like Corporal Peck.

"He has a long road ahead of him and he's got a strong family to help him through that," said Lisa Krutyholowa.


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