Weatherford Democrat

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March 16, 2014

A hero’s homecoming

Marine badly wounded in explosion comes to a home remade for him

By SALLY SEXTON

“It’s good to be home.”

Those were the words Marine veteran Marcus Burleson said as he stood in the driveway of his parents’ home in Weatherford Friday afternoon.

Burleson, a former explosive ordinance disposal technician, was named the 2014 recipient of the Spirit of a Hero Foundation, a non-profit which aids wounded warriors in and around the DFW area.

In December of 2011, Burleson was severely injured in Afghanistan when a bomb he had been disarming detonated in his hands. The explosion caused extensive organ damage, severe burns, shattered bones and a brain injury and Burleson lost an eye and his right arm below the elbow. His left arm was paralyzed.

To help ease the pain, Burleson underwent a rare spinal surgery in July of 2012 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. Under a microscope and tiny electrode, 140 burns were made to the damaged nerves on Burleson’s spinal cord.

The surgery was a success and, after a long recovery period, Burleson was finally discharged and came home to Weatherford, driving down from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“It feels good to finally be transitioning out,” he said.

The Spirit of a Hero, along with Cyberhorse Construction and Home Depot, have been working the last month to remodel Burleson’s parents’ house to fit his physical needs.

A wall was knocked out to combine and office and bedroom into a room with more space for mobility, and a bathroom partition was taken down to provide more room as well. A new shower door, complete with a Marine logo, was installed, along with a bidet, complete with heated seat, new tile flooring and a special adjustable mirror.

“They tried to surprise me but I found out before-hand. I guess I’m smarter than they are,” Burleson said. “I was completely astonished. They have done an amazing job for having such little time.”

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