Marine Disfigured by Iraqi IED Deserves Our Gratitude
On May 5, 2007, a roadside IED in Iraq literally set USMC Ronny "Tony" Porta and two other Marines in a Humvee on fire. As a result, the other two Marines died and Porta is disfigured from severe burns on his face and limbs. He lives not only being mocked by children, but taunted by adults as well.
When the IED exploded, Porta said everything inside his armored Humvee went black, and then the temperature inside the vehicle began to skyrocket. He says when he managed to get out of the Humvee something was dripping to the ground--it was his skin: "It was like I was burning inside. I felt it on my face. I felt it on my brain. I felt like was I was talking with fire."
His right arm was burned through the skin and muscle, all the way to the bone, and had to be amputated.
Porta says he knew he was badly disfigured, so much so that it was four months after the explosion before he could look at himself in the mirror. When saw his face, he said to himself: "Who's going to love me now?"
Back in the states, Porta says children call him a "monster" and even an adult came up to him, asked his story, and then cynically asked, "Was it worth it?"
Porta says he told him it was worth it, because "freedom isn't free."
Porta joined the USMC right out of high school. And when asked if he regretted that decision or the tragedy that awaited him in Iraq he said: "If God were to give me a second chance to do it all over again, I would have have done it one more time. I always, and will always, love the Marine Corps."
Fortunately, during the therapy that followed this horrific experience, friends introduced Porta to a nurse whom he married in 2011, and with whom he now has a son. They are in the process of moving from the big city to a country setting, where Porta believes it will be easier to make acquaintances and function in society without people gawking at him.
God bless you Tony Porta. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Thank you for your courage and your sacrifice. Breitbart News salutes you.