Cpl. Marcus Chischilly felt like someone shoved him down real hard when the IED exploded in Afghanistan.
He remembers everything that happened that day. Only a month into his fourth deployment, him and his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment of the U.S. Marines, took fire while on a mission.
Chischilly said the unit returned fire and were running around, when he stepped on the explosive Oct. 9, 2010.
He knew his left leg was done for.
“It split pretty much, I think, right in half,” he said. “From the knee down was pretty much gone.”
Chischilly, called “Chilly,” was then taken to Germany to receive life-saving surgery. After a few days there he went stateside to Bethesda, Md., and had more surgeries to repair his shrapnel-ridden right leg and arms.
Doctors were able to save Chilly’s right leg by grafting in muscle from his hamstring and gluteus. Similar such grafts preserved his scarred left and right arms.
Since then, Chilly has been recovering at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. He walked four months after his injuries, on a prosthetic leg, and began finding sports to occupy himself and push his recovery.
“I didn’t play sports in high school,” he said. “I wasn’t really into it.”
Then Chilly discovered swimming, hand cycling and wheelchair basketball and fell in love.
Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial support to injured U.S. Armed Forces members, it helps with finances during hospitalization, as well as assistance with continuing needs of military members, helped Chilly pay for his hand cycle with a grant.
The fund has issued about 43,000 grants totaling more than $62 million since it was established in 2004, according to the nonprofit’s website.
He has competed in four cycling marathons, including the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon June 3.
Now he is participating in his first Paralympic events at the 13th University of Central Oklahoma Endeavor Games.
“Everyone here has a physical or mental disability, so you definitely feel like it’s your place to compete,” he said. “So you get a chance to come out and swim against other people and cycle against other people.”
He competed the 20K Cycling Event Friday, which began and ended at POPS Restaurant and in the 3-on-3 Wheelchair Basketball tournament at the UCO Wellness Center.
Not only is this Chilly’s first Paralympic event, but it’s also his first event with children.
“I’ve never seen an amputated child ever,” he said. “It warms my heart. It feels good to know they’re out there still living their life.
“It gives me a lot of personal strength in a way seeing these little kids that are going to live the same way I’m going to live, but they’re young. I had to do it when I was 23.”
He said he also gets hope from seeing the older Paralympians at the Endeavor Games because it shows him his future.
Chilly is now 25. He and his wife Antania, 21, have two sons, Ryan, 3, and Avary. They are also expecting a third child.
The boys don’t seem bothered that their father appears different, Chilly said. But they have noticed him lately.
“Now that they’re getting older, I catch them watching me a lot,” he said. “I’m sure that when they’re older they’ll see it enough times that they’ll know that that’s how Daddy looks.”
Chilly said he sees his children having a father who is a little different could also prove advantages.
“Not everybody knows what this is,” he said as he grabs his prosthetic leg. “My children growing up in that community and in that environment — and being aware of it — I think they’ll have a different perspective as far as how they see people with disabilities and how they see themselves.”
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Chilly has his lows as well as his highs, but he said he uses sports, his family and friends to help keep things in perspective.
“There some things I wish I could just wake up in the morning and go do, but it takes a little more planning, a little more time,” he added. “Competing like this definitely takes its place because you get around to the Paralympics and things like the Endeavor Games.”
After his life-altering injury, Chilly was determined to still be a part of the Marine Corps, but later realized his body couldn’t hold up to the physical demands.
“I had a heart that was pretty solid to go back into the Marine Corps,” he said.
He now attends San Diego’s branch of Vincennes University, where he plans to go into radiology.
And even though he’s transitioning out of the Marines, he is a part of the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Battalion West.
So although he may be “Semper Fidelis,” and not able to serve, he is, however, still in the fight.
Cpl. Marcus Chischilly felt like someone shoved him down real hard when the IED exploded in Afghanistan.
- Local News
North baseballers aid kindergartners
North High School sophomore baseball player Tyler Bowen helps Ida Freeman kindergartners Dakota Prince and Jorge Campuzano pick out a book. Each student received a book, a Christmas cookie and juice and then the baseball team members read to the students.
Rollover crash closes part of north Edmond street
A section of a street in northwest Edmond was closed Thursday afternoon while personnel worked the site of a rollover crash.
The crash occurred along a partly snow-covered stretch of Sorghum Mill Road just west of the Santa Fe-Sorghum Mill intersection. Police, EMSA and fire rescue personnel were working the scene. Both lanes of Sorghum Mill were closed at the time.
Information on injuries or the cause were not immediately available.
Feds indict 3 accused in tag agency thefts
Suspects accused of burglarizing several metro tag agencies including one in Edmond now face federal charges, court records show.
Wednesday, the U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, released the complaint filed against William Robert Donovan, 40, of Edmond, Richard Bruce Traver, 27, listed as homeless, and Amanda D. Sizemore. Her address information was not available.
Donovan and Traver, who are both in custody at the Oklahoma County jail, and Sizemore, who is not yet in custody, face government allegations of conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., aiding and abetting bank fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, each defendant faces significant prison time, fines or both.
Defense counsel information was not listed. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the complaint, grand jurors allege that earlier this year, beginning in or before March and continuing through at least June the defendants conspired to commit bank fraud in violation of federal law.
OC will award degrees at winter commencement
Oklahoma Christian University will present 87 undergraduate degrees and 85 graduate degrees at its winter commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday.
The undergraduate degree candidates come from 16 states and seven countries and majored in a combined 36 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. The master’s degree candidates come from six states and 10 countries, and represent 14 graduate areas of study.
Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. Byron Newberry, chair of Oklahoma Christian’s Graduate School of Engineering, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.
In addition to his director’s role with the Honors Program, Baird is a professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian. He also has served as the preaching minister at Wilshire Church of Christ since 2000. His father, James O. Baird, was Oklahoma Christian’s second president.
Touchmark residents give ‘thumbs up’ to new YMCA
Senior citizens from Touchmark bundled up, braved the cold and the icy roads this week and traveled to the Edmond YMCA Recreation & Aquatic Center at Mitch Park on Covell.
The tour group was one of more than 100 that have been guided through the new facility to show what will be available when it is finished. This $22.5 million facility is a joint project with the the Edmond School District, the City of Edmond and the YMCA.
Joining the group and donning hard hats were Touchmark residents Ellie Lottinville, Judith Harris, Jimmie Cook, John Wayant and Richard Newville along with Carla Scull, Touchmark’s director of life enrichment, and Jesse Walls, driver.
Guthrie-Edmond airport looks to upgrade
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board was told Tuesday by officials from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission that GERA is in good shape but work needs to continue to help maximize everything the airport has to offer.
The board was given a presentation by OAC director Vic Bird and Dale Williams, OAC planning division manager about the state of the aviation industry in Oklahoma and how airports the size of GERA are faring.
AAA: Teens report ‘TWD’ significantly less than adults
High school-aged teens report using their phones or texting while driving substantially less often than adults do, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
While the public often cites teens as being the most common offenders, a recent survey found that adult drivers ages 25-39 were the most likely to admit engaging in these risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, said young novice drivers, who are especially susceptible to distracted driving crashes, are using their phones while driving less than older drivers.
AAA to offer free Tipsy Tow rides
Before climbing behind the wheel after drinking at a holiday party, AAA Oklahoma hopes you’ll think again and call them for a free Tipsy Tow ride home for you, your vehicle and one more person.
“Over Christmas and New Year’s, up to 40 percent of all traffic crashes involve alcohol,” said Edmond resident Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “But motorists do have options: Use a designated driver, serve non-alcoholic mocktails at parties or call AAA for a Tipsy Tow.”
Paycom plans HoliDazzle event to benefit Warmth 4 Winter Coat Drive
Paycom has teamed with News Channel 4, The Salvation Army and Rotary Club of South Oklahoma City to host HoliDazzle, a free event at Remington Park on Thursday to kick-off the annual Warmth 4 Winter coat drive.
Parents and children are encouraged to bring a new or gently used coat from 3:30-7:30 p.m. to help ensure that every child and adult stays warm during Oklahoma’s harsh winter months. Those who contribute are encouraged to enjoy an afternoon of holiday fun with train rides, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies.
Lilyfield reschedules ‘Dunks for Diapers’
Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care has rescheduled its Dunks for Diapers event.
Lilyfield holds a diaper drive with the Oklahoma Christian University Women’s basketball team to benefit foster children. Anyone bringing diapers, wipes or new baby items for ages 0-24 months will gain free admission to the women’s game versus Lubbock Christian University, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles’ Nest on the campus of Oklahoma Christian in Edmond.
“This will allow us to give foster families much-needed necessities when they receive placement of a foster child. Often placements happen with little notice and the child may come into a foster home with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” said Holly Towers, executive director of Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care.
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