Former Marine's services invaluable in Iraq

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Brian Hammond’s services were invaluable in Iraq.

As a field radio operator, he was responsible for the communications equipment that brought artillery fire and air strikes to the enemy and summoned medical helicopters for injured Marines and soldiers.

But he’s discovered there’s not much use in the civilian world for his skills.

Hammond, 26, was in Iraq in 2004 when a suicide bomber driving a water truck destroyed his forward operating base. He was badly injured in the resulting blast, which killed two other Marines. He returned home after a medical discharge with a bad back and a head full of bad memories.

A 2003 graduate of Academy of Richmond County, Hammond joined the Marines out of high school with the intent of serving his country and learning some job skills.

From his perspective, his studies into becoming a field radio operator should have been the equivalent of going to a trade school. But there’s no use in the civilian world for his skills, he said.

“If I hadn’t gone into the military I would have had my bachelor’s degree now,” he said. “It’s frustrating because I put so much work (into training).”

He’s held a few jobs. A local artifact curation project gave him a few weeks of work. He took a step toward his goal of owning a one-stop car detailing and motor repair business with a job at Pep Boys, but his physical limitations took away that job.

His back injury limits how long he can stay on his feet and how much he can lift. He’s also hunting for a job that can work around his twice-weekly counseling sessions for post traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s hard to get a job that I actually want that’s understanding of my disability as well,” said Hammond.

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Taylor B
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Taylor B 11/13/11 - 12:02 pm
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Mr. Hammond, please contact

Mr. Hammond, please contact me at atctaylorb@yahoo.com. I have many contacts in the auto industry and I may be able to help you. Anyone knowing Mr. Hammond please forward this info to him.

Volsman1
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Volsman1 11/13/11 - 04:15 pm
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Unfortunately the people of

Unfortunately the people of these United States have either forgotten or have no concern for those of us who have served to protect this great and wonderful Nation that I am privileged to have been born in and raised in. Upon joining the U.S. Air Force and serving my term, being discharged honorably it was a guarantee that I would be give life time health care. although that is being taken away slowly and almost completely by Obama Care I Am Still fighting with what voice I have left... My vote, letters, and campaigning for Veterans rights.
Mr. Hammond should be entitled to retraining as a Wounded Warrior, and if that isn't being afforded him, then shame on this country!!! I am becoming more and more upset with the injustices that I am seeing as I have started watching cases in the V.A. much closer. Mr. Hammond is but 1 in hundreds in this area alone. If only the Augusta Chronicle would do a grassroots survey of the area V.A. and see how things really are then maybe we could get something started nationwide. But if I could click my ruby heeled slippers together three times and say "there's no place like home..."
God help you Mr. Hammond and maybe Taylor B can too because the Government probably won't!

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