His story is a familiar one throughout the country, yet a unique one in southwest Wisconsin.
Jeremiah Rardin, 20, Platteville, was home recently continuing his recovery following injuries he suffered while serving with his fellow Marines in Afghanistan. Rardin, a 2009 graduate of Platteville High School, enrolled in the United State Marine Corps during high school and left for boot camp following graduation. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. and graduated from boot camp on his mother, Melodie Cushman's birthday.
Earlier this year he was shipped to Afghanistan with the 1st Batallion, 5th Marines. Rardin worked as an infantryman in Afghanistan. He was there about three months before he was injured on June 15. During a foot patrol with his unit they were struck by a couple of IEDs (improvised explosive device).
Rardin's memories of the incident are sketchy. He knows other men were injured in the blast, but isn't sure how many. He said all of them are healing and no one was killed during that blast.
Immediately after the blast, Radin was blinded. His sight eventually returned; however, he lost hearing in his right ear, suffered shrapnel injuries to the face and upper arm, leaving scars and he almost lost his right eye. He still has two surgeries to go through in California. "I got pretty lucky really," said Rardin. "I'm healing pretty good."
After the blast, Rardin was transported to a hospital in Afghanistan and later transferred to another hospital in that country. He was then moved to a hospital in Germany before returning to California and then to Platteville for two weeks. He returned to California on Monday.
Rardin has a five-year enlistment in the Marine Corps. Any future deployments are not clear; however, at this point he is looking forward to welcoming his comrades home from Afghanistan.