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By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2014 (Ramona)--On August 9th, Brandon Dodson’s life changed forever.  The Marine Corps Staff Sergeant from Ramona was on combat patrol in Hemand Provice, Iraq when an Improvised Explosive Device, or IED detonated.  He lost both legs and suffered other serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, broken tailbone and broken hand, KPBS reports.

Sgt. Dodson, a graduate of Ramona High School in 2003, is married and has a 20-month-old son.  To help the family, Dodson’s buddy in the Marine Corps, Dave Smith, has set up a webpage at  So far, it has raised almost $100,000 from a thousand different donors.  To donate, you can visit . The site also has an address where you can send letters to cheer up this wounded warrior.

This was his fifth deployment, including service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Dodson's parents, his wife Jasmine, and 20-month-old son Indiana have all traveled to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland, where Dodson is hospitalized.

Smith writes that Dodson: “ is hands down one of the best Marines I have ever seen in combat and is the type of leader who makes the Marine Corps great, upholding all of the values we aspire to.”

He also posted some encouraging news on Dodson’s progress.  "He is opening his eyes more and beginning to hold longer conversations. His wounds are healing well although he still has quite a long road ahead of him."

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