Marine Cpl. Caleb Getscher
USMC CPL Thomas (Caleb) Getscher was born February 19, 1991 in Yokota Japan. He is the youngest of 8 children born to Bill and MaryAnn Getscher. His father, Bill, who is also a Marine serving 27 years and retiring as a Master Sergeant. Caleb's older brother Billy served eight years with three deployments to Iraq. They were his main inspirations to join the Marine Corp. Caleb enlisted in the Marines December of 2009, he was later stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. On July 8, 2010 he and fiancé, Emily, welcomed a baby girl, Camily Pearl Getscher. He was deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2011, it would be his only deployment.
On June 18, 2011 while on night patrol, on foot, in Sangin, Afghanistan, Caleb stepped on an IED. The blast caused him to lose his left leg below the knee, instantly, and then a combination of infection and substantial damage led to the loss of his right leg through the knee and his left arm below the elbow. He was medevac’d to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and then sent to Landstuhl hospital in Germany to be stabilized. It was there that Caleb went into a coma and they confirmed he had a severe TBI (traumatic brain injury). After removing his left arm, they got him to stabilize enough that they were able to fly him from Germany to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Between the 3 hospitals Caleb underwent dozens of surgeries in an attempt to salvage limbs, remove shrapnel, fight infection, skin grafts, the list goes on. He remained in a coma and the doctors gave us little hope that he would wake up, and if he did, that he wouldn't be "our Caleb", but we kept praying and hoping they were wrong. In late June Caleb woke up!
Caleb lived at Walter Reed (with a short time at Maguire Medical Center in Richmond) regaining his strength, going through therapy and more surgeries and eventually learning to use prosthetic limbs. On June 18, 2012, one year after his injury, Caleb and Emily were married and they along with their then almost 2-year-old Camily moved into the barracks together. Caleb retired on May 30, 2014 as a CPL.
Through the Ride to the Flags IX, White Heart will raise funds to assist in the additional construction of Cpl. Getscher's house in Leonardtown, Maryland.