Littleton

Group sends injured Marine and his wife on vacation

Highlands Ranch man's nonprofit sending four veterans on trips this year

Posted 4/24/16

Gunnery Sgt. Ralph DeQuebec and his wife, Katie, haven't had a chance to take a honeymoon in the nearly four years they've been married.

The Marine Corps explosive ordnance disposal specialist had both of his legs amputated after he was injured …

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Littleton

Group sends injured Marine and his wife on vacation

Highlands Ranch man's nonprofit sending four veterans on trips this year

Posted

Gunnery Sgt. Ralph DeQuebec and his wife, Katie, haven't had a chance to take a honeymoon in the nearly four years they've been married.

The Marine Corps explosive ordnance disposal specialist had both of his legs amputated after he was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2012. He and Katie were married soon after.

The DeQuebecs are going to Hawaii this summer thanks to the nonprofit group Vacations for Warriors.

They joined Vacations for Warriors and supporters on April 23 at the Littleton Elks Lodge for a Hawaiian luau-themed fundraiser.

Vacations for Warriors founder Bob DeMonbrun, of Highlands Ranch, said while many charities help veterans in many different ways, he believes his is the only one dedicated to sending wounded veterans on vacations. Like the DeQuebecs, many military couples never got a chance to take a proper honeymoon.

The group was formed in 2014, and in 2016, four veterans with service-related injuries are scheduled to make trips paid for by Vacations for Warriors.

Ralph DeQuebec, who joined the Marines in 2002, said he wanted to wait until he was out of his wheelchair and walking on prosthetic legs before traveling.

“Vacations for Warriors — I couldn't thank them enough,” he said.

The San Pedro, California, native is awaiting a medical retirement from the Marine Corps while he continues to undergo treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. A former high school and junior college football player, he has found refuge in playing sled hockey and hopes to make the U.S. Paralympic team.

He and his wife, an Air Force veteran, are interested in moving to Colorado after his retirement. Before the fundraiser, he was able to spend time with a military friend who lives nearby as well as meet some older veterans.

“I had a good time hanging out with some old-time Marines,” he said.

For more information about the charity, visit www.vacationsforwarriors.org.

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