Claremont American Legion post, Rolling Thunder help wounded veteran, son reunite
Dakota Bonner, 9, of Claremont, last spent time with his dad, Robert Martin of San Antonio, Texas, in 2011. (COURTESY)
Members of the American Legion were moved by a Veteran's Day speech given by Dakota at the Legion observance this year, said Post 29 commander Sam Zannini, and so enlisted Rolling Thunder to share travel expenses to make the family reunion possible, he said.
Martin and Dakota's mother are originally from the Spokane, Wash., area. When Martin was in high school he learned he was going to be a father so he dropped out of school and joined the Job Corps and pursued his G.E.D. When he was old enough, he joined the Army.
Martin was deployed to Iraq in 2006. Eight months later in 2007 he was severely burned when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his convoy.
"The door of his vehicle jammed so he had to climb out," Bonner said. "He was in a drug-induced coma for a long time."
Eventually, Martin, who received burns to 70 percent of his body, was transferred to an Army burn unit in San Antonio, Texas, where he now lives with his mother.
"He is such a great boy, brave boy," Lescord said. "It's a very touching story."
The local veterans first offered to fly Martin to New Hampshire, but he didn't want to travel because of his condition and asked for no media coverage in Texas, Lescord said.
And the San Antonio Marriott River where they are staying gave them rooms at a discounted rate, she said.
"They are just spoiling him because it's never something Dakota gets. He never gets that time with his father so they are going to make it the most memorable trip they've ever had," Lescord said.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- George Will: Regulatory overkill everywhere - 0
- Another View -- Marilinda Garcia: Ann Kuster loves Obamacare but won't pay for it - 33
- John Stossel: Earth Day is more like Earth Daze - 3
- Drew Cline: Rand Paul's coalition vs. Ted Cruz's army - 5
- Another View -- Jeff Goley and Will Infantine: Time for an increase in weekly benefits for NH unemployed - 4
- George Will: Understanding our divisions - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: Attorney General Eric Holder's race card - 0
- Another View -- Bobby Jindal: NH should trust parents to choose schools - 14
- Charles Arlinghaus: A $400 million hole was just blown in the state budget - 5
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Garry Rayno's State House Dome: It's time to make legislative sausage - 0
- Memory of bombings remains vivid for those who were there - 0
- Ted Siefer's City Hall: No power play in aldermanic chambers, mayor in good spirits - 1
- On Baseball: Locke pitches game in minor league rehab - 0
- NH's top prospects happy to be part of Boston - 0
- Relative newcomers vie for Boston title - 0
- NH College Notebook: Franklin Pierce's King named to 18U coaching staff - 0
- Andy Schachat's On the Run: New Hampshire makes a big deal about Boston Marathon - 0
- Another View - Ahad Fazelat: How Medicare reimbursement numbers are misleading - 0
Man electrocuted at Keene brush fire
Havenstein: 'I'm a pro-choice Republican'
A cellphone ban: Ignoring inconvenient data
Downhill: Obamacare vs. ski areas
Democratic House Speaker Norelli to retire
Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: Restaurant owner faces up to challenge of Obamacare