Major Mathew Schram's Memorial Day
You'll Never See This On CNN - #745

"Captain Courage" - Royal Marine Captain Jim Bonney - Someone You Should Know

This story (sent by Diana) is not about the war on terror, but about the courage of a marine from the UK to continue his career in the Royal Marines. Our own US Marines have a bond with the Royal Marines.

Captain has his leg amputated to stay in Marines
By Richard Savill

A Royal Marines officer who was badly injured in a 1,000ft climbing fall has become the first Commando to return to operational service with an artificial leg after he asked doctors to amputate his limb.

Capt Jim Bonney, 26, faced having to leave the Royal Marines and the loss of an active life, including a love of canoeing and climbing, after the fall while on an adventure training exercise in Alaska three years ago.

After various operations his right ankle had degenerated to an extent that further surgery would have meant fusing his foot and removing all movement.

When he realised his life would be greatly enhanced with a prosthetic leg he told doctors to remove his real one below the knee. Following the surgery, he has fought back to full fitness and has resumed the military career he chose when he was a boy.

Capt Bonney, who is married to Kirsty, 28, a trainee doctor, and has a four-month-old son Zak, is due to go on a landing craft officers' course in September. He is expected to specialise as an officer responsible for planning and co-ordinating the deployment of one of the Royal Marines raiding squadrons.

"I've got my life back," Capt Bonney said yesterday at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, Devon, where he has undergone intensive rehabilitation. "It has been worth all the effort.
Capt Bonney said the part played by his wife, whom he married two years ago between the accident and the amputation, had been "pivotal". "It is difficult to overstate the amount of support she has given."

Mrs Bonney said: "Initially I was just glad he was alive. As time went on it was obvious that it wasn't getting any better. We couldn't even walk hand in hand because he was reliant on crutches.

"I knew that if he set his mind to getting his life back as an amputee he would do it."

The operation was carried out in December 2002 and 14 months later Capt Bonney, from Petersfield, Hants, passed the annual combat fitness test. He completed an eight-mile run in boots and full kit, including 25kg in a bergen rucksack, in one hour 53 minutes. Royal Marines have to do it in two hours.


In April he took part in a 24-hour canoe race over 125 miles that involved lifting his kayak around 79 hazards.
Lt Col Nick Arding, Royal Marines Commanding Officer at Lympstone, said: "Capt Bonney epitomises the qualities expected of a Royal Marines Commando."...

Well, I sure am glad that the Brits are on OUR SIDE!

Here's what the Scotsman dug up on Captain Bonney and the sense of humor of the Royal Marines:

One-legged marine is fighting fit and back on front line
WILLIAM LYONS A ROYAL Marines captain who had part of his leg amputated is to become a landing craft officer following his return to front-line duties.

The father of one of 26-year-old Jim Bonney’s colleagues has jokingly made the Commando a wooden leg for when he takes a course in sea attacks later this year.
He admitted receiving "a lot of stick" from his fellow marines in the form of friendly banter.

They held a wake for his foot in the officers’ mess after the amputation.

And following the headline "Captain Courage" in a national newspaper, colleagues marked his coat hook and seat with "Reserved for Captain Courage" labels...

All kidding aside, "Captain Courage" is an accurate monikker for Jim Bonney of the 42nd Commando, Royal Marines.

Speaking of the Royal Marines, here's a message from the (Color) Sergeant Major of the Royal Marines, Chip Adcock, to a US Marine friend of mine from a few days ago:

    The 40th Commando Royal Marines has just announced we will be back out to Iraq again quite shortley, continuing the fight for freedom for the Iraqi people next to our bretherin Corps from across the water.

    Hope all's well and hope all this nasty stuff gets sorted soon.

    All the best

    Yours aye

    Chip Adcock

    CSgt RM

So, the Royal Marines and our own Marine Corps will be together once more.