U.S. Marines thank WWE
WWE recently received the following letter from Gunnery Sgt. Spanky Gibson of the United States Marines, stationed in Fallujah, Iraq:
To all the Wrestlers at the WWE,
I want to extend a huge "Thank You," from all the Marines at Camp Fallujah. Most of us just began our 13-month deployment. Here in Fallujah, it is a bit nicer than being out in the small combat outposts (COP), but we are still dislocated from most larger scale, USO/PAO trips. You can only helo or convoy into our location. The support to war-fighters is such an important role, and you all do such great things for us. I have recently received a few boxes of all kinds of WWE items -- magazines, photos, T-shirts, a Vince McMahon/Triple H toy set and even a set of curtains, which I will display in my room, window or not.
I would like for you all to know how this support came about. I was on a flight to Los Angeles from Dallas, and I happened to sit next to Jim Ross in first class. Now, you might ask how a U.S. Marine was able to sit in first class. I will tell you. It's a good story!
In May 2006, I was on a foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq. While conducting the patrol, we found ourselves in a nice little fight, typical in Ramadi then. I, along with my three Marines, were accompanied by four Navy SEALs. During the firefight I was shot through the left knee. My wounds resulted in my left leg being amputated just above the knee.
So, 17 months after my injury, I find myself being to told, "get up and sit in first class." The flight attendant had noticed my computerized leg, and I guess she felt obligated. Well, a few moments after I sat down, I kept saying to myself, "I know this gentleman beside me." After a bit I finally asked. It was "J.R." I am an Oklahoma boy, and I grew up watching wrestlers like Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Ivan, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, the list goes on. The flight to L.A. was very memorable. Jim gave me all kinds of things on his flight, including his card. I told him of my service and we talked about my deployment to Iraq as an amputee. I have many reasons, but most importantly, it's to serve our wonderful nation and our concept of freedom.
My injury has given me a new friend and opened up a lot of gifts for my fellow Marines. So, from this Marine to all of you, I say "Thank You." We all appreciate the support you give in so many ways. If you all by chance make it into Fallujah, look us up. We will be here to support and enjoy that which you provide. Just ask for Gunnery Sgt. Spanky Gibson. I am the only one-legged Marine here.