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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Veteran Marine of Gulf War and Iraq battled to make it out of his own backyard

Veteran fights for his life after burning 65% of body
ABC News Charleston
By Stacy Jacobson
Posted: Jul 19, 2013

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Folly Beach Shrimp Company will have a fundraiser on Saturday to help a national hero -- he's a man who's survived three tours of duty in Iraq and is now fighting for his life.

SSgt. Harold Veronda faced some of the most dangerous missions possible.

"He was an explosives screener and he was also a sniper," said his friend Dan.

The Marine Corps veteran served the U.S. during the Gulf War. And when the War in Iraq started a decade later, Veronda volunteered.

He has led many on potentially deadly tasks.

"He brought a lot of people out alive and back to their families in the process of serving our country," Dan said.

But sometimes we are tested when we least expect it.

"It's just kind of ironic," Dan said.

Veronda was doing yard work on June 2. He went to remove a tree stump when a tool backfired and fuel exploded all over him. The explosives expert found himself on fire. He battled to make it out of his own backyard.

"He was able to put the flames out, picked up a cell phone, dialed his wife, asked her to get help, walked in to the house, took clothes off, walk to the back of the house and get in the shower," Dan said.
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