Immediate Release:

For Further Information:
Don Patterson:(301) 274-0100


      Local Marine Corps veterans are participating in a grass roots program to assist servicemen and women who have been wounded in the Middle East.

      Don Patterson, who was recently elected Commandant of the Southern Maryland Leathernecks of the Marine Corps League, an organization of USMC veterans, pointed out that: "We not only help Marines but now we assist wounded men and women from all branches of the military from OIF~OEF. We have seen a need and now we are filling that need."

     The orthopedic cane program was started by Don Patterson of after seeing the need by amputees who have their new posthetics, who also have hand injuries.

      In the case of a person who has lost their leg(s) most start out with their new posthetic(s) by going to full weight bearing onto canes without the benefit of a walker or crutches. If they are using the round top cane then they get blisters. If they have hand injuries, the round handle is difficult to hold and opens their wounds.

      The orthopedic canes have a form fitting handle that feels good in the hand & distributes the weight better. The reports we have been getting is that they are of a tremendous advantage and they have a better balance and support when using the ortho canes.

      These orthopedic canes are 100% donated by individuals and various organizations, such as the Heart of a Marine Foundation, to Don at Don distributes the ortho canes at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to any of the wounded patients. The hospital physical therapy people guide me as to who is ready for and need these orthopedic canes.

      Local Marines visit the wounded on a regular basis and try to provide those things the government may not provide including personal items, transportation for relatives, outings to sports events and other services.

      "One of the most important traditions of the Corps is that we never leave our wounded behind,"said State Marine Corps League Commandant Gerard F. Devlin,a retired Maryland District Court Judge."The concept of once a Marine always a Marine is very real to us."

      Donations for the Orthopedic Canes are being accepted now. You can send your donations to:

      Make checks payable to: Don Patterson
     On your check memo line put: For Walking Wounded Ortho Canes Program

Thank you
Don Patterson

Photos by Don Patterson,

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