Cpl Derek Stevenson

Wilmington, NC

Home Award Program Recipient

Growing up as the son of a career Army man, Marine Corporal Jeremy Derek Stevenson lived overseas and moved frequently across the U.S., eventually joining the United States Marine Corps on Sept. 15, 2008.

Derek was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment (“Hell in Helmet”) as an Infantryman. Shortly after, he met Richeala Santos in Jacksonville, and the couple married July 1, 2010, 20 days before he deployed to Marjah, Afghanistan.

On Dec. 27, 2010, five months into his first deployment, while securing a compound with his squad leader, LCpl Stevenson stepped on fifteen-pound improvised explosive device (IED). The subsequent explosion left him with serious burns on his left leg and destroyed his right leg below the knee. Another member of LCpl Stevenson’s squad ran into the building, picked him up and carried him to safety outside of the compound. LCpl Stevenson was taken to Bagram, Afghanistan, where his right leg was amputated above the knee and his left leg was treated for burns. He was then transferred to Landstuhl, Germany, and finally he was transferred to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Later, Richeala would give birth to their daughter Madeline Stevenson at the same hospital.

While he was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Derek learned about Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) from another injured Veteran who received a specially adapted home, applied for the Home Award program, and received a mortgage-free home near Camp Lejeune, in Wilmington.

In his spare time, Derek enjoys spending time with his family and participates in wheelchair basketball, hand cycling, weight-lifting, hunting, and fishing.