A U.S. Marine with ties to San Diego County was seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan and now friends are asking for donations to help his family with transportation and medical costs.
Ramona High School alum Staff Sergeant Brandon Dodson was on foot patrol Aug.9 when an IED detonated, leaving him with life-altering injuries.
In the explosion, Dodson lost his legs and suffered a fractured pelvis.
As word spread that Dodson was recovering at in Bethesda, Maryland, friends started contributing thousands of dollars to an online fundraising campaign.
Florida resident Ricardo Hickel has been Dodson’s friend for 11 years and calls him the best guy he knows. They met serving in the Alpha Raiders, 1st Battalion 4th Marines.
“He’s a pinnacle of strength,” Hickel said. “He still wants to be in the Marines even after this tragedy.”
Another colleague called Dodson one of the toughest Marines he served with and wrote an essay on Dodson that says he worked as a drill instructor at MCRD in San Diego.
Dodson has a wife and a 20-month-old son living in the Twentynine Palms area of California.
His mother has worked for the Ramona Unified School District. The Ramona Sentinel reports that his parents retired Marine Capt. Michael and Marla Dodson now live in Eugene, Oregon. Dodson’s brothers live in Oregon and Ramona and are hoping to fly to be with him as he recuperates.
Friends created a GoFund me page to help the family with costs for transportation and other medical care above and beyond what’s provided by the U.S. military.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 20, the online fundraising effort has raised $97,000. Get more information on how you can help here.