OUR WOUNDED WARRIOR - CHRIS DEMARS
The life changing explosion that First Sergeant Christopher Demars out of the Massachusetts National Guard, 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, endured and lived through, happened the morning of May 9, 2011 in the Laghman Province of Afghanistan.
1SG Demars and his team of soldiers headed out on a mounted combat patrol. The mission that day was to provide security for some civil engineer officers to inspect a courthouse in a local district that had been rocketed by the Taliban. The mission lasted approximately 2 hours. Chris was getting ready to mount back up and move onto his next mission when an Afghan walked up from behind him pushing his motorcycle and detonated a vehicle-borne IED, instantly killing himself, severely injuring Chris and another soldier and killing several Afghan people. Chris was blown clear across the road and into the front end of a military vehicle.
When the medic arrived, he thought Chris was dead, as he didn’t see him breathing, yelling, or screaming. Chris had huge holes in him and was bleeding badly. He had bled out over 50% of his blood supply and was within moments of not making it. The medic worked quickly using–Quik Clot, tourniquets, bandages, drugs, and every last drop of
fluids he had on him to save Chris’ life. Had it not been for the quick actions of the combat medic, Chris would not be with us today.
Chris’ injuries included a moderate traumatic brain injury, severe broken left leg, broken bones in right leg, 3 bones broken in his back, all facial bones broken, right index finger broken, flash burns to his head and face, severe shrapnel wounds from waist down, including the severe shrapnel wound that hit his femoral vein.
Chris was a patient at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda MD and Washington DC for 10 long months. He was first introduced to the Wounded Warrior Project when a WWP knapsack full of clothing and other items was delivered to his hospital bed, shortly after his arrival to Walter Reed. When he started to understand what was going on around him, Jim Mayer and his crew would visit regularly just to talk and see how he was progressing. Jim would also come in on certain days with ice cream sundaes which he needed because he had lost over 40 lbs during his stay at Walter Reed. When he
was finally able to become an outpatient, he started attending the WWP Friday night dinners. The WWP would pick up all the wounded warriors at Walter Reed. Their wheelchairs would be lifted up and strapped down for the ride. It was always a nice to end a hard week of therapy with a nice dinner and great host. Chris met some very influential and inspiring people. He will continue to be affiliated with the WWP as one of the WWP alumni where he can now apply for scholarships and take advantage of other projects and events for the future. As a double amputee from Vietnam, Jim Mayer has inspired Chris to help other wounded warriors for the rest of his life and support the WWP for America’s wounded.
Over the last 17 months, Chris has endured many surgeries with still has more surgeries in the future. He continues to fight and work hard to recover, and although he still has a very long road to travel in his recovery, he remains strong with a very positive
Story written by Chris and his wife, Terri
A NOTE FROM KERRY TOGNERI:
Ice Stars for Wounded Warriors thanks Chris Demars for his service and his dedication to help give back to the men and women that were/are injured in
He is a very special friend of ours. And, not only does he deal with his own health issues due to battle, but he also finds local military personnel who are
injured, helps them get connected to the WWP, does a fundraiser for their family and just keeps giving back.
Because of this I have asked Chris to be our Grand Marshal for our 2013 Parade.
I hope you will all try to come out and meet him. And thank him.