Donald Trump, Jr. rallies support for Alabama Marine recovering from life-threatening injuries
Matt Pierce has served his country his entire adult life. Even after retiring from the Marine Corps in 2012 after seven tours of duty, Pierce dedicated himself to a career training and educating law enforcement and military personnel.
Now, this American hero needs our help.
Yellowhammer News has covered Pierce’s incredible service in the past. The Alabamian was one of the first U.S. military service members sent on a plane to Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the nation.
He then served three tours as an explosive detection dog handler, followed by four tours as an explosive ordinance disposal technician (EOD tech) — the person disarming bombs. All of his tours occurred in the Middle East: two in Iraq and five in Afghanistan.
As detailed in a past Yellowhammer News article, Pierce technically entered the private sector upon retirement from the Marine Corps, however, he continued to serve the United States in a similar fashion. This warrior continued to save lives; while he was no longer the individual personally handling bomb-sniffing dogs or disarming bombs in war zones, Pierce became an expert trainer of military and law enforcement personnel who were doing exactly that at home and abroad.
It was while working at iK9’s headquarters in Anniston on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, that Pierce came to be critically injured.
Now, this is a soldier all too familiar with brushes with death. However, it was following a training accident this past December that Pierce was faced with one his toughest tests yet.
According to information provided to Yellowhammer News, Pierce was injured while disposing of black powder and smokeless powder used during iK9 military working dog training exercises.
He reportedly suffered a broken arm, second degree burns and a deep laceration to one of his legs and was airlifted to UAB Hospital.
Following that incident, his mother, Carleen, started a GoFundMe, which set a goal to raise $50,000 for his medical and rehab costs while also detailing the severity of what he faced.
Carleen stated about the aforementioned injuries that Pierce also had third-degree burns and “multiple fractures.” He had either second or third-degree burns on his face, torso and arms.
“After his second surgery to save his right arm the doctors are still unsure if he will ever make a full recovery. He remains in the ICU Burn Trauma Unit,” Carleen wrote.
“While my family asks for continued prayers that the many surgeries he has ahead are successful and that we can keep him infection free we are now also asking for help. Matthew is the father of 3 children and to make sure that they need for nothing while he battles down this long road ahead is his biggest concern. If you could find it in your hearts to either make a donation or share this with your friends it would be greatly appreciated. I understand it’s the holidays but anything donated will go directly to his children or to his medical bills and long term care,” she added.
Fortunately, things have trended in the right direction since then.
On Monday, January 20, Carleen wrote, “I wanted to post another update as we are coming up on two months since the accident. My son has undergone all of his surgeries successfully and has been released from the hospital. He is dealing with day to day life of visiting nurses, occupational therapy and physical therapy. His right arm is proving most difficult and unsure if will ever regain full mobility. He is recovering nicely and showing how strong he truly is. I want to send a heart felt thank you to everyone involved. The medical treatment he has received has been tremendous and support from our family, friends and community has been above and beyond. We thank you all for continued prayers.”
Yet, while the prognosis is positive, Pierce is still faced with a costly and lengthy process moving forward.
This is one reason why Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s eldest son, on Monday tweeted his support of Pierce and urged people to support the GoFundMe.
This amazing Marine Corp vet who did 7 combat tours & disarmed over 700 IEDs had a terrible accident and has been in the ICU for weeks. His family now needs help paying for his medical bills. If you can, please consider donating to help them! https://t.co/x6dVLTe3Lg
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 20, 2020
Money quickly poured in after the tweet from “Don Jr.,” and the GoFundMe is now “trending” due to the high volume of donations pouring in.
While the money will certainly have a tangible effect in helping Pierce with his rehab, the backing from the president’s son is also sure to be an important morale boost for Pierce as well.
In an exclusive statement to Yellowhammer News, Pierce reacted to Trump Jr.’s tweet, saying he was “blown away” that Don Jr. was willing to rally support behind him.
“As I am starting my road to recovery, my family and I are so incredibly grateful for all the amazing people that have been willing to help,” Pierce added. “I am so very blessed. May God look over each and every one of them. Semper Fidelis.”
You can support the cause here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn