HILLCREST, NY – A family of Lisle’s are grateful to the local military community and supporters for coming to their rescue after a terrible accident this summer.
Blake Stanton and his teenage son Drew burned leaves with gasoline last July when their hearth exploded in flames.
Blake was burned sixty-nine percent of his body, Drew thirty-two percent.
Blake is a retired Marine and National Guard who has been unable to work as a bricklayer since the accident.
And the medical bills for both are staggering.
When Hugh Becker of the local section of Soldier’s Wish learned of the family’s plight, he worked with other local veterans’ groups to throw a spaghetti dinner for the Stanton family.
“We are so proud to be able to support this military family. Many people think that the American Legion is just sitting around drinking cheap drinks. And yes we do. But our main job is to care for that one percent of the population who raise their right hand and have sworn to support and defend the United States Constitution, ”he says.
The October benefit took place at the American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton and was supported by Legion Post 1194, VFW Post 478, the Marine Corps League and Soldier’s Wish.
Soldier’s Wish is similar to Make-A-Wish in that it fulfills wishes to active military and veteran families in need.
“Once you’re in the military and you go to a military establishment, you’re like a brother. It doesn’t matter what industry you were in, it’s a nice brotherhood, ”Stanton said.
The benefit, which included 100 raffle baskets and a DJ, earned the Stantons $ 12,000 to help them pay their bills.
Blake spent eight weeks in Upstate Medical’s intensive care unit and burn units in Syracuse, while Drew spent four weeks in Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse.
Blake’s wife, Melissa, had to split her time between the two of them.
She says support from family and friends can be expected, but not complete strangers.
“When people send checks and give you money from places you don’t know, people you don’t know, it’s very humble and warm. And like Blake and Hugh both said, our military community here is very strong and we’ve seen that. They have come in droves to help us in some way, ”she says.
Melissa says Blake still has a long way to go in recovery.
He is in constant pain and not sure if he can go back to work.
If you’d like to support the Stantons or Soldier’s Wish and would like the post to stay local, email the Upstate Ambassador at [email protected]