Marine Staff Sgt. Jason Ross has had 240 surgeries since a 2011 improvised explosive device left him injured in Afghanistan. The attack cost Ross both his legs, and he was given a 2% chance of survival, but he persevered.
In August, Gary Sinise, the actor best known for his role as “Lt. Dan” in the movie “Forrest Gump,” stepped in to give Ross a home that would fit his needs.
Through his foundation, The Gary Sinise Foundation, which serves veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need, Sinise helped build a house that would make everyday life easier for Ross and his family.
According to its mission, the Gary Sinise Foundation “is building custom Smart Homes for severely wounded veterans, serving hearty meals to deploying troops and hosting spirit-boosting festivals for patients, families and medical staff at military hospitals.”
Sinise, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and the Semper Fi Foundation also partnered together and started a college fund to ensure that Ross’s two daughters are taken care of as they get older.
“I’m trying to do what I can to entertain and support our military,” Sinise told CNS News. “It’s an important thing. We can never do enough for our veterans.”
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.