Fundraiser held for wounded warrior - WNEM TV 5

Fundraiser held for wounded warrior

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FREELAND, MI (WNEM) -

A wounded warrior is grateful Thursday after a golf tournament was held in his honor.

The fundraiser helps pay for a custom-built home for the former Marine.

It was an appropriate beginning for an event dedicated to a wounded warrior. Robert Thrailkill Jr., 23, was a Marine corporal. He had only been deployed in Afghanistan for a month in the fall of 2010 when his life changed forever.

"On Oct. 26, I stepped on an IED," Thrailkill said.

He lost his legs. Thrailkill can walk thanks to prosthetic legs, but his journey hasn't been easy.

"A lot of it was more mental" Thrailkill said. "I retired in my wheelchair then after I retired I started using my legs more, it was more of the fact that I needed that mindset to be more comfortable using my legs."

Golfers paid to tee off on Thursday to raise money. It goes toward a custom house built for Thrailkill by Homes For Our Troops. He lives in Grand Haven.

"It allows them to be free throughout the home with no limitations," tournament organizer Jacquie Brink said. "It's complete donations, no government grants, everything's done by people donating it's amazing. I've been in the homes and they are just phenomenal."

Many of the golfers had personal stories that link them even closer to these wounded warriors.

Diana Bearss' son-in-law also was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan.

"Homes for our troops built a house for my daughter and son-in-law in North Carolina so this is very special for us," Bearss said.

Thrailkill said he is overwhelmed by the golf tourney and all the support he's received since he's returned home.

"There's so many words that I can say, but it's hard to put it down to one word. But I'm very grateful for everyone to come out here and help and support and all that," Thrailkill said.

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