CURRENT MISSION: Help Him Build a 100% Handicapped-Accessible Forever Home
When Eric Morante joined the Marine Corps upon his high school graduation in 2003, he knew he had found his forever home. Eric thrived in the Marine Corps, and over the next three and a half years, rose to the rank of Sergeant. During his third deployment, in 2007, while serving as an Infantry Squad Leader, a suicide bomber changed the course of Eric’s life, now it is time for him to once again start building for his new forever home.
On that fateful day in Iraq, Eric and his men were guarding a bridge – literally living there for over a month – when a suicide bomber drove a truck with over 3,000 pounds of explosives under the bridge.
April 20, 2007. Ten years ago.Of the eight members of the squad (seven Marines and their Navy corpsman), six were severely injured and had to be medevac’d out. Eric lost his right leg above the knee in the blast and also shattered his wrist. He continues to care for “his” Marines and is planning a ten year reunion for the group.
Since coming home, however, Eric has not really been able to settle down himself – until recently. He has now found a passion in boxing, and hopes to make paralympic boxing a recognized Olympic sport in 2020. Eric wishes to settle in San Antonio, so he can be close to BAAMC and the wonderful prosthetists who keep him up and running.
Eric also sees the need to now step up and care for his mother – she who literally got on a plane at a moments’ notice to be by her son’s side during his long recovery – initially at Bethesda Naval and subsequently at SAAMC.
Eric continues to give back by caring for his platoon members, and through boxing, hopes that others will see that he continues to live his life to the fullest, giving back to all those he loves, as best he can. He was also able to pursue a culinary degree, and hopes one day to open a restaurant or have a food truck. A suicide bomber died in vain back in 2007 – he has not broken the spirit of this wonderful Marine, or any of his men – he just reinforced their resolve to live and defend the “land of the free.”
Nine Line Foundation, Inc. is committed to helping Eric’s dream for a home become a reality. In partnership with A Soldier’s Journey Home, another all-volunteer nonprofit organization, we are hoping to complete construction of Eric’s home in February 2018.