Meet U.S.M.C Sgt. Michael Frazier
U.S.M.C. Sgt. Michael Frazier grew up in a very tight knit and supportive family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a young boy his Grandfather Carmen would tell him stories about the University of Notre Dame and the football program of the Fighting Irish. Michael fell in love with the University and it was his Grandfather’s dream that Mike would one day visit the campus, see a football game, and perhaps even attend school there.
Michael’s life journey took him a different direction because of the events of September 11th, 2001. Mike enlisted in the Marines at the age of twenty-two in 2005, because he felt the deep desire to give back to his country. Mike served seven years in the Marine Corps, with three combat deployments to Iraq and one combat deployment to Afghanistan. While out on patrol on May 20th, 2011 in Afghanistan, Michael stepped on a pressure plate Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.). The blast resulted in the loss of both his legs and much of the use of his right arm.
During his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, Michael met his wife Monica, who worked as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman. During his time recovering and rehabbing at the hospital, Monica and Mike’s family kept him going every day and striving to move forward. Michael proposed to Monica at the Marine Corps War Memorial, waiting until he could bend on his prosthetic leg to ask her to become his beloved wife. They were married on October 13th, 2012. Michael retired from the Marine Corps in December of 2012 and started to look ahead to begin a new life outside the military.
Michael currently has two dreams. The first is to be a father. This dream was realized with the birth of their daughter, Sofia, last March. Michael’s second dream is to one day compete in the Paralympics in hand-cycling and to win a gold medal. Mike has already hand-cycled in the Race Across America. With a team of eight cyclists, they raced 3,000 miles in 7 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. Michael also serves as a motivational speaker to other veterans and America’s youth. Currently Michael and his family have been accepted into the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment) Program to build them a custom GSF Smart Home that will make Michael’s everyday life a little easier.
Monica Frazier: “It can be hard for someone to understand the day to day struggles that Michael can go through. It takes a full family effort for us to be able to do many of the simple things that so many people take for granted. To have to put forth that effort day after day, would wear anyone down over time and would be a burden to any family. A GSF Smart Home is a gift of empowerment and independence for our whole family. It will give me the freedom and peace of mind to go to work or to run errands and know that Michael can get in-and-out and around the house easily … to know that he has everything he needs readily accessible to him. It’s a new beginning for us. After everything we have been through … a return to normalcy … a fresh and empowering start on a new chapter in our lives as we welcome our baby girl into our family this March.”
Our first Run Forrest Run 5/10K was held for USMC Sgt. Michael Frazier & the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program. Thanks to your early support the Frazier family's adaptive Smart Home is in progress (with walls!). In the photos you will also see Michael's daughter, Sofia, who was born the month before our race, & GSF Ambassador MSG John Masson, whom you met at last year's event. It's so exciting to see the impact a committed group of people can have to R.I.S.E. up for our HEROES!!!🇺🇸