Marine Still Standing After Devastating Injury

Friday, February 29th 2008, 10:41 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma Marine is still standing after a deployment, an ambush and a devastating injury.  The two-time Pryor combat veteran could have stayed home.  But he's back in Iraq.  His family on the Homefront tells News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims his return to duty is one of a kind.

Chaney and Lauren Gibson haven't seen their Marine in months.  Satellite TV is not as good as in person, but its close.

You might not know it from the softer side he shows his girls, but Gunnery Sergeant Bill Gibson is a marine through and through.

Gibson is a former member of an elite recon unit, fiercely committed to protecting his guys, even when a sniper was taking aim at him.

"I was bleeding tremendously. They had to drag me 30 feet.  There was this huge blood trail. The whole time I was just thinking of firing my weapon at the target and making sure my troops were good," said Sergeant Gibson.

Sergeant Gibson lost his leg that day in Ramadi, but not his drive.

He came home with a prosthetic limb, a cane and the determination to continue wearing the uniform.

He learned to walk, then to run, and then he asked to return.

"I didn't really think he would get to go and it was kinda hard when he actually said he was going.  I was kind of in denial, it was like wow," said Chaney Gibson.      

But Chaney isn't just a wife and a mother, she's a former marine. So she did the only thing she could, let him go back.

Twenty-one months later, Sergeant Gibson is the first-ever above-knee amputee to return to active duty.

Sergeant Gibson says every now and then he runs into the men he served with during his last tour.

"They're the most amazed to see me. One of them actually ran into me at the gym. I was on the elliptical and he came up and basically goes what the hell are you doing here," said Gibson.   

Gibson was asked to explain why it is he wanted to go back.

"How could I look at my peers and say you're going and I'm not. So it's very important for me to go to show that I'm putting forth every possible effort that my peers do," said Sergeant Gibson.

A man who's given more than most for his country is continuing to sacrifice.

That is a hard thing for a 3-year-old to grasp.  But something to make a wife stand tall.

"He's a good man. I'm very proud of him. I'm very proud to be his wife," said Chaney Gibson.

Sergeant Gibson's story was told on a Fox Network News blog, it generated more than 15 pages of responses.

Sergeant Gibson will be in Iraq for about a year.