SSGT. Jedidiah ‘Jay’ VermillionUS Marine Corps

    St. Louis

    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

    Elks Lodge #9 Second Annual BBQ Contest On Saturday, May 20th, the Elks Lodge hosted its second annual BBQ contest to benefit JCS.  JCS has been the benefactor of several fundraisers by this lodge.  We are grateful for the support of the Veterans Committee, and the members of Lodge #9. Thank you for your commitment to [...]

    Read more

    A local St. Louis company, Patriot Sunrooms, stepped up in a big way to support a JCS Hero. On Saturday, employees of Patriot Sunrooms volunteered  to install all new windows, storm doors, and gutter guards in Josh Eckhoffs house.  They also power washed the home and planted flowers. The materials and labor were generously donated. […]

    Read more

    Dear JCS Family, JCS has played an integral part of my journey leading up to my first year of college at University of Missouri-Columbia (MU).  I am proud to say that I have successfully completed my first year as a student, majoring in Elementary Education, which has been a longtime passion of mine.  JCS has […]

    Read more

    Yesterday, our JCS Hero Josh Eckhoff and Advisory Board Member Don Forth were interviewed by Fox 2 News. They were able to discuss the upcoming Bike for Heroes ride and Don's cross country ride to raise money for JCS.  Josh and Don did an outstanding job representing JCS!  If you want to get involved, or to [...]

    Read more

    On Monday, April 18, 2017, our dear friend, and Advisory Board member, Dan Esser passed away suddenly. Dan was a longtime supporter and volunteer for the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a mission he accepted with pleasure after having served in the US Army. Dan will be sorely missed by his JCS family and friends. Our thoughts and [...]

    Read more

    Thanks to your generous contributions, JCS was able to present Serena Kisseloff with a new Jeep.  Serena graduated from high school early and is preparing to start her new life at college.  This Jeep will provide her with safe transportation while at school and when she wants to come home to visit.  We are looking [...]

    Read more

    The event benefited the Joshua Chamberlain Society’s (JCS) Nashville Chapter, which provides life-long support to veterans who sustain permanent combat injuries fighting for our nation’s freedom. Homeland security and law enforcement specialist Lt. Col. Herman Statum was the keynote speaker who will address the current terrorist threat to the United States. JCS Heroes were also [...]

    Read more

    WSMV Channel 4 NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – What happens to veterans severely injured in combat after the parades and welcome home parties end? The idea that they are forgotten is exactly what one Nashville couple is working hard to prevent. Marine Jeremy Voels has been in a hospital bed in Nashville since 2010. He was 20 […]

    Read more

    John Ford Coley, Roxie Dean and Byron Hill to Headline Songwriter’s Night Supporting Middle Tennessee’s Combat Injured Heroes NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (May 17, 2016) – Celebrated Songwriters John Ford Coley, Roxie Dean and Byron Hill will perform at the Joshua Chamberlain Society’s Songwriter’s Night on June 11, 2016, at Green Door Gourmet’s Grand Barn in Nashville. The [...]

    Read more