What a rare and humbling opportunity. Two Medal of Honor recipients spoke at the Nashville Gala on November 2nd. Medal of Honor Recipients, James C. McCloughan, Specialist 5 United States Army and David Bellavia, Staff Sergeant United States Army. They were absolutely amazing, and you could have heard a pin drop while they were speaking. David [...]
Raised for most of his childhood in Perryville and Jackson, Missouri, Staff Sergeant Jedidiah “Jay” Vermillion, USMC always thought he would become a Marine. His grandfather was a Marine, fighting in the epic battle on Iwo Jima during World War II. His dad was also a Marine, fighting through the jungles of Vietnam. There was, however, one hurdle to his goal of following in the footsteps of his personal heroes – his father telling him that he could do anything in this life….except become a Marine. So, Jay continued his teenage life, including as a star linebacker on the high school football team (earning a scholarship to Frostburg State University in Maryland), putting any thoughts of becoming a Marine out of his current plans, but never out of sight.
In August, 1999, SSGT Vermillion could not ignore his calling as a Marine any longer. He joined the Marine Corps because his father and grandfather were his heroes and he wanted to be just like them—Marines through and through who always conducted themselves as Marines. His first deployment came not long after the attacks of 9/11. On a patrol in Al Fallujah, Iraq in 2005, SSGT Vermillion was hit by a “triple stack IED,” – -three 105mm artillery shells. Later in that tour of duty, SSGT Vermillion was hit again by another IED. At the early stages in the long war on terror, traumatic brain injuries were not given the attention they deserved. At the time, it was considered normal to have severe headaches and other side effects of an explosion. If the Marine could walk, they might be allowed to rest for a week, but then they were put back into the fight because all available warriors were needed in those days, and continue to bring the fight to the enemy is exactly what SSGT Vermillion did. In 2010, SSGT Vermillion was the Platoon Sergeant in charge of his detachment during a second combat tour, this time in Afghanistan. During a vehicle mounted patrol on July 13, 2010, in Marjah, Afghanistan, SSGT’s Vermillion’s vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device (IED) comprised of 100 pounds of homemade explosives. He was thrown head first into the back of his vehicle and lost consciousness. His vehicle was so damaged, and SSGT Vermillion in such a bad condition, that those who initially came to his rescue assumed that he had been killed. Showing the bravery and determination that drives him to this day, Jay fought for his life and survived this incredible blast.
Jay is supported in his recovery by a beautiful family. His wife Mackinzie is his rock, even as she fights through her own battle with leukemia. Jay also gains strength from his loving children, Jedidiah, Cole, and Lyla, who all have learned so much about honor, bravery, strength, and perseverance, from their dad.
Jay, Mackinzie, Jedidiah, Cole, and Lyla, we could not be more proud that you have become part of the JCS family and we are honored to welcome SSGT Vermillion, USMC as our 10th JCS Hero!
Keep up with Jay
On November 8, 2019 Sgt. Michael Shuster U.S. Army was the recipient of a Ford Escape via the recycled rides program. The Shuster family applied for the program in July. In partnership, Schaeffer Autobody Centers, Travelers Insurance, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car provided the Shuster family with a more reliable vehicle. The Recycled Rides program works to donate […]
Good Morning – I wanted to take a few moments and send out a heartfelt THANK-YOU to all our volunteers, participants and donors that made the First Annual JCS-Houston Clay Shoot a resounding success. The time spent up front by our board members, our volunteer coordinators, our sponsors and by all those that have held [...]
On October 27th, JCS supporter Tim Mooney completed the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. This was a grueling 26.2 mile run in the pouring rain. Tim completed the race with 30,000 other participants and represented JCS throughout the day. Tim also challenged his friends to support him on this run by raising money to [...]
Jay Vermillion ended up with some large holes in his ceiling and walls after getting some electrical work done. JCS reached out to our generous supporter Clayco, and within a week Clayco and Wies Drywall were at the Vermillion home donating their time and treasure to make the necessary repairs. The Vermillion family was so [...]
On October 31st, 2019, Great Nonprofits will announce JCS as a 2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit. This is only possible through our JCS community. The stories and experiences that our followers shared with Great Nonprofits gives us the opportunity to make this list. JCS is extremely grateful for the people that make our mission possible and believe […]
Corporal Tyler Huffman Promoted!
Read about the 2019 11th Shoot for the Troops.
Our JCSYP, young professionals, put on their first Red, White, and Brew Volleyball Tournament on September 21st, 2019. The event was held at the Elks Lodge #9 and we sold out all eight teams. The day was so successfully because of the support from the Elks and the sponsors who made it all possible. We […]
On August 24th, 2019, JCS had their annual Bike for Heroes event. The event, originally scheduled for July, was postponed following the spring flooding that continued to block the route. The day was a success, not only the beautiful weather, but also the most riders JCS has seen to date with nearly 300 riders. The […]