By Cpl. Damien Gutierrez – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — To show their support for wounded servicemembers, a nation-wide non-profit organization recently donated a brand new home to a Purple Heart recipient who served in one of the Marine Corps’ most infamous battles.The Military Warriors Support Foundation, which awarded homes to more than 60 families last year, works jointly with banks and mortgage companies to help provide brand new homes to heroic veterans wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan.George Rapciewicz was awarded with the a three bedroom-three bath house standing with more than 2,000 square feet located in Temecula, Calif., March 23, for his bravery and sacrifice on the battle field.
“This gift is truly a blessing for not only me but family as well,” said Rapciewicz. “When I got the call that morning I couldn’t believe it. This is without a doubt the best token of appreciation any family can receive.”
George, who served as field wireman with 3rd Battalion 1st Marine Regiment, received the Purple Heart for obtaining serious injuries during the first few days of the Corps’ monthlong battle in Fallujah.
During the battle, heavily armed insurgents struck Rapciewicz and his squad mates with a rocket propelled grenade while in a humvee. At the time, Sgt. Rapciewicz was manning a .50-caliber machine gun, leaving him seriously injured with shrapnel wounds alongside his body. Fortunately, Rapciewicz did not give up and was able to escape successfully along with several other Marines from his squad.
“It was definitely something I will never forget,” said Rapciewicz. “When an enemy takes fire on you, immediately you think about the Marines to the left and right of you. There’s no time be afraid. I knew I was severely injured, but there was no way I was going to give up.”
In addition to his new home, Rapciewicz and his family also receive free counseling visitations. The counselors work hand-in-hand with families to ensure a positive transition out of the military is achieved.
“At first I couldn’t believe it, because things like this never happen for me and my family,” said Lucy Rapciewicz. “The house is more than I could ever ask for, but it’s the free counseling service we’re receiving that means the most to us.”