Utah Marine Thankful to Be Alive

Utah Marine Thankful to Be Alive

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Jed Boal Reporting,/I> A Utah Marine on a long road to recovery is back home for a few days. He was seriously injured in Iraq, but he's taking it one step at a time with inspiration from his family.

Lance Corporal Robin Griffiths counts himself fortunate to be able to play with his eight-month-old boy Chase and plan a future with his wife.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths, U.S. Marine: "He is the motivation that keeps me going when I have a bad day."

Griffiths came desperately close to never meeting his son at all.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths: "It's like he's talking to me saying it'll be o.k. It'll be fine."

The Marine was stationed in Iraq when Chase was born. Six months ago, a week before he was slated to come home, a mortar attack nearly shattered his life. His Marine unit rested after a patrol near Baghdad when two rockets hammered his tent. The first woke him up.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths: "The second blast hit my side of the tent. I received shrapnel wounds and a small concussion."

He blacked out.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths: "When I came to, the tent was on fire. I was on fire."

He rolled out of the tent and struggled to a first aid station.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths: "Realized I was hit and pretty bad. I just had to get to help, and thank God I did."

The blast killed one Marine and injured four others. Burns covered 35-percent of his body, shrapnel tore into his right leg and shattered his right elbow. It cut his chest and face.

Tonia Griffiths: "It was devastating. I really did not expect something like that to go on, especially when you're excited for his to come home."

Doctors at a military hospital in Texas operated on him many times, and he awaits more surgery.

Tonia Griffiths: "They expected him to be in the hospital six months. He was only in the hospital a month and a half. He got out of there after he started seeing his son. His spirits lifted."

He focused on sitting up, standing up and walking, and received the Purple Heart.

Lance Cpl. Robin Griffiths: "I don't regret joining the military or going to Iraq. It was my second time; I was proud to do it."

Right now Groffiths' job with the marine is to complete his recovery and see where his future is with the corps. As for his personal goals, he hopes to run again some day soon, so that he can keep up with his son in the years to come.

The Marine and his family will return to Texas for more physical therapy, eventually a medical review board will determine his future with the Marine Corps.

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