The Division Donates at Brendan Marracco Fundraiser

Division 1 Hudson County Gives to a Veteran Brendan Marracco valiantly served our nation, so we went to Kearney to offer some financial help to the young quadruple amputee.

Division 1 Hudson County Gives to a Veteran

Brendan Marracco valiantly served our nation, so we went to Kearney to offer some financial help to the young quadruple amputee.

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, members of the Division went to Kearny, NJ, for a fundraiser for the Brendan Marrocco Road to Recovery Trust at the Scots- American Club.  The Division presented a check for $1,000 to Brendan’s trust.

About Brendan
On January 15, 2008 Brendan entered service in the United States Army and was assigned to complete basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Brendan completed basic training on May 2nd 2008.  Upon graduation he volunteered for service in the Infantry and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  Specifically, Brendan was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment.

In late October 2008, Brendan’s unit was deployed to Iraq for a twelve month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The unit was stationed at Forward Operating Base Summerall located 130 miles north of Baghdad.  The mission of Brendan’s Company was to root out terrorists, stop acts of terrorism, search for and seize weapons caches and maintain security in their area of operation.

During the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, while returning to base after a night mission, Brendan’s vehicle sustained a direct hit by an Explosive Fired Projectile (EFP) resulting in one fatality and two injuries.

As a result of the EFP entering the vehicle through Brendan’s door, Brendan sustained severe, permanent and life changing injuries.

His injuries included:
•Amputation of both arms and both legs;
•Severed left carotid  artery;
•Broken nose, left eye socket and facial bones;
•Loss of eight teeth;
•Shrapnel to the left eye and face;
•Severe lacerations to the face;
•Burns to the neck and face; and
•Pierced left eardrum.

Following the attack, Brendan was kept from bleeding to death by his platoon’s medic and fellow soldiers long enough to be transported to the US Army trauma hospital in Tikrit, Iraq.  At Tikrit he was resuscitated, stabilized and underwent emergency surgeries.  Following the surgeries, Brendan was transported to the Joint Operating Base in Balad, Iraq, then to Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany and lastly to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.  All this was accomplished within three days which is a testament to the awesome capabilities and commitment of the men and women who serve our country.

Brendan is currently recovering and undergoing physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he is expected to remain for an extended period of time.  His brother Michael has graciously put his life on hold by moving in with Brendan and assisting with his recovery.  He is Brendan’s non-medical assistant and as such he is with him 24/7.

Brendan is doing well.  He has been and continues to be an inspiration and source of strength for our family and to his fellow soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Brendan may have lost his arms and legs but he never lost his will to survive  and has maintained an extremely positive yet realistic attitude about his recovery and life after recovery.  He knows that his recovery will be long, setbacks will occur and that his future will be challenging.  Regardless, he continues to focus and channel his energies on his recovery and is looking forward to the future.

2013 Jersey City Irish Festival


Irish eyes were smiling Saturday, and so were everybody else’s, as thousands attended the Jersey City Irish Festival, which took over Exchange Place on the city’s waterfront. There were bagpipers, step dancers, plenty of T-shirt and food vendors, rock bands and flowing beer — and a heartwarming story of love.

Newark resident Owen Riley, 21, and Kearny’s Bridget Massett, 21, said they met at the festival three years ago and found out they both had been separately attending the festival with family members since they were in grammar school.

“He was so cute,” Massett said of meeting her beau in 2010. “I was like ‘will you go out with me?’”

“We came here to explore our Irish roots and we started dating,” said Riley.

“We look forward to seeing a lot of people who come back to Jersey City,” said Maureen Killeen Hulings, vice-chair of the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, the nonprofit organization responsible for putting together the festival since 1999.

Three bands performed this year: The Narrowbacks, The Prodigals and Black 47.

But for much of the afternoon, it was 78-year-old Patricia Squires of Bayonne who stole the show as she showed off her solo dance moves near the stage.

“I‘m so thrilled that I can be here. As soon as I got here I heard the music and started to dance,” said the former school teacher. “My energy is exquisite.”

See the gallery from the Jersey Journal here: