EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 7, 2013

Another important 'race day' in Andover

(Continued)

“If we raised no money, and I saw and felt the gratitude from the soldiers ... done deal,” he said. “I’d continue to do it.”

Marine Cpl. Dubois was clearing a helicopter landing area for a medical evacuation on July 31, 2011 and went prone to “get a better shooting position,” he said. With a single movement of his leg onto the pressure plate of a buried explosive device, his life changed forever.

Today he uses a wheelchair, both legs amputated from his hip down. In the two-story Rhode Island home where he lives today, getting around the house is a challenge — impossible, sometimes, without the help of his wife.

In a video for Homes for Our Troops, Dubois said most New England homes “are all two stories, so you’d have to get piggy-back rides up to the second floor. Most of the time, the bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor.”

“Transferring into the shower is obviously dangerous,” he said. “I can’t catch myself when I fall... I can, but I risk breaking my arm, and my arms, right now, are all I have got left.”

The Dubois story has touched a nerve in his hometown of Burrellville, R.I., where his home will be built later this year. Nearly 80 people from Burrellville were in Andover for the weekend’s dinner on Friday and race today.

Kudos to Pennington, who has been relentless in promoting the race and supporting the injured soldiers. The Merrimack Valley has helped raise nearly $150,000 in three years for this wonderful cause.

Talk about a feel-good moment? The two Marines that received homes were at the dinner on Friday night.

Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who is an Army Reserve, will be running the race with his wife Gail. Sen. Brown will also emcee the pre-race festivities, which will begin around 8:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the start of the race.

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