Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


If my child needed me, nothing else would matter...not the job, not the mortgage, not the car payment...

Clyde and Renette Ross boarded a flight to Germany last month, to be with their son, Camp, who was critically injured in Iraq. They remain with him.

Think of the Ross family and give what you can, even if it's just a prayer or a word of encouragement.

Florence Marine awarded Purple Heart by President Bush
Morning News

A Florence Marine who was seriously injured in the Fallujah attack last month in Iraq was awarded the Purple Heart by President George W. Bush at Bethesda (Md.) Naval Hospital.
Bush personally presented the award to Wesley “Camp” Ross, 20, during a visit to the hospital Saturday, Ross’ sister, Lea Freeman, said. She said he also presented the award to several other Marines at Bethesda.

Freeman and her parents, Clyde and Renette Ross, witnessed the presentation.

“President Bush pinned it on him and shook Camp’s hand,” she said. “He gave him a presidential coin and said he was very proud of him. Camp was beaming from ear to ear. It was a very moving experience.”

Freeman said Bush thanked her brother for being a Marine and for all he was doing for his country. White House photographers also took pictures of Ross and the president.

“President Bush thanked us, looking each one of us straight in the eye the whole time he talked,” Freeman said. “He’s a very gentle, impressive and personable man. And he’s a lot taller than he looks on television.” Freeman said she told the president many people were praying for him to be re-elected.

Ross was seriously injured when a missile-type device hit the amphibious assault vehicle he was assigned to. The vehicle was taking troops into Fallujah. Shrapnel hit Ross, the crew chief, in the head, back and shoulder.

Freeman, a nurse, said her brother is making remarkable improvement and is off the ventilator. He still has the trachea tube in his throat, but has learned to speak around it.

“He responds verbally and nonverbally and answers things appropriately,” she said. “He has most of his long- and short-term memory. He is walking a little bit with a physical therapist, but still requires total care.”

Plans call for Ross to be transferred to a hospital in Richmond, Va., to receive specialized physical therapy and neurological rehabilitation, Freeman said. She said it’s supposed to be one of the top traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation centers in the country.

“Camp is cognitively aware of what is going on,” Freeman said. “But he gets very frustrated at not being able to get out what he wants to say.”

Freeman said she wanted to thank Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church, the Marine Corps, all the prayer chains, community outreach personnel and readers of the Morning News for their concern.

“Camp has received bundles and bundles of mail,” she said. “The outpouring of care has been unbelievable. We are truly thankful. My parents are still by his side.”


Cards and letters can be sent to Lance Cpl. Wesley “Camp” Ross, c/o Marine Corps Liaison Office, Bethesda Naval Hospital, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20889.

A fund has been set up at Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church to assist Ross’ parents, Clyde and Renette Ross, while they are staying with their son. The mailing address is Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3905, Florence, SC 29502. Checks should be made out to the Camp Ross Fund.

The Julian D. Dusenbury Detachment of the Marine Corps League also has established a fund.Contributions can be sent to: Commandant Clifford W. Gade, Marine Corps League, 601 McKeithan Road, Florence, SC 29501-8811.Freeman said Bush thanked her brother for being a Marine and for all he was doing for his country. White House photographers also took pictures of Ross and the president.


Post a Comment

<< Home