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War Eagles step up for war hero
Chestatee schools show support for injured Marine Sean Adams
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Hannah LaCount writes a letter to injured U.S. Marine Sean Adams, a Chestatee High School graduate, as part of a schoolwide project at Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development. - photo by Tom Reed

How to help

Family members of Sean Adams have created a website and a Facebook page to provide updates on his condition. Email inquiries can be sent to pfcseanadams@yahoo.com. Letters can be sent to 5110 Arthur Ave., Oakwood, GA 30566, and they will reach Adams.

Websites

 

During times of hardship and tragedy, communities bond, forming a united front to overcome obstacles they may encounter.

The Chestatee community has done just that, coming together to support one of their own during his time of need.

Pfc. Sean Adams, a U.S. Marine who was injured while on tour in Afghanistan, is recovering from severe injuries in Maryland. While taking the lead on a bomb sweeping mission, Adams stepped on a mine, injuring himself and another Marine in his platoon.

Adams had both of his legs amputated and sustained shrapnel injuries to his eye, bruised lungs and lost digits on his hands.

His stepping on the mine likely saved his platoon, who is calling Adams their "hero."

But while Adams recovers in a hospital in Bethesda, Md., 600 miles away the schools Adams attended are taking action by raising money, sending letters, making T-shirts and doing whatever they can to show the Marine he is not forgotten in his hometown.

"I kind of look up to him because I want to be in the Air Force," said Chase Nicholson, a seventh-grader at Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development. "He sacrificed a lot."

The school has started a collection for the Adams family, raising more than $1,000 in three days. They have also written dozens of letters of support for Adams, and a group is planning on visiting him next week to present it in person.

"It has been really amazing how (the students) have cared," said Dawn Richards, a social studies teacher at Chestatee Academy.

At Chestatee High School, students have designed and printed T-shirts in honor of Adams, who graduated as a War Eagle in 2011. They plan to pass them out at the school and in the community. They have received orders from as far away as Alaska and Korea.

"It's just great to be able to support all the Marines and armed forces out there," said Brandon Miller, a Chestatee High senior. "There's been a lot of support (at the school)."

Miller designed the shirts, which are currently being printed.

"The talk of the schools is that everybody wants one of these shirts," Miller said.

During Adams' senior year, he was a part of the wrestling team, where coaches described him as "tough" and a "good team member."

"He was a perfect guy for the Marine Corps," said Paul White, assistant wrestling coach. "I think everybody's appreciative about what he's done for his country."

Each year the wrestling team gives out a "Tough Man" award, which is being renamed the "Sean Adams Tough Man Award."

"He's a wrestler now more than ever," said Carey Whitlow, head wrestling coach. "Because to wrestle means to struggle. ... I thank him for doing what he did over there so it didn't happen over here."

Adams' sacrifice has inspired numerous students, both at the high and middle schools levels, who aspire to join the Armed Forces. His dedication has only fueled their goals.

"It really woke me up that it could happen to me," said Aaron Dooly, a sophomore at Chestatee, who wants to be a Marine. "But it made me realize that it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make because it's what I truly want to do."

The wounded Marine's heroic story resonates with the students.

"People that give up their lives for the country are really special," said Cody Cornett, a Chestatee Academy seventh-grader. "We respect those veterans, disabled veterans and anyone who serves for our country."

The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, but those with ties to Adams do not want to see it stop and don't think it will.

"There is a waterfall of support (right now) and what we don't want to see is it turned off, because this is a long-term thing," Whitlow said.

 

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