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Nonprofit supporting injured service members and their families in Tucson

Tejada Family
Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-05 18:50:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Guillermo Tejada served in the United States Marines for 15 years, but nothing could have prepared him for what happened during his time in Afghanistan.

"On November 11, 2010, I was on my Afghanistan deployment and I was struck by an IED," said Tejada.

Tejada lost both of his legs in the explosion. His life was forever changed.

"The mental aspect of it is probably the toughest. We go from walking giants to now having to be cared for 24/7," said Tejada.

Since arriving home, Tejada's wife, Veronica, hasn't left his side. She has supported him through every new challenge.

"The transition from the hospital to housing, a house that is not wheelchair accessible, that was the hardest," said Veronica.

This weekend, it was her turn to relax. The non-profit, Semper Fi and America's Fund, brought her, and dozens of other caretakers, to Tucson's Starr Pass Resort as a way to say "thank you."

"A lot of service members and their families feel isolated. They feel like they are the only ones going through things. This is a chance for them to come together and realize they are not alone," said Carrie Grose with Semper Fi and America's Fund.

Semper Fi and America's Fund has provided over $277 million to 28,000 injured service members and their families. The nonprofit's help allows the families to focus on what matters most.

"If there's a need there they fill it. They fill that gap," said Tejada.

It's a gift Tejada will always be grateful for.

"From the moment I was in the bed in the hospital, until now. They continue to help."
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