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Camp Pendleton Marine 'couldn't stand the thought' of his battalion in Afghanistan without him. Now he's coming home severely wounded

October 30, 2010 |  4:50 pm

Blank1 When the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Reconnaissance Battalion was set to deploy to Afghanistan, Sgt. Jonathon Blank could have remained stateside.

Blank was close to finishing his active duty. But to make sure he could deploy with his buddies, he extended his tour and went with his Marine battalion to the Taliban-infested Helmand province.

"He couldn't stand the thought of his team going over there without him," Tyler Brewer, the police chief in Augusta, Kan., where the Blank family lives, told the Wichita Eagle.

Now the 23-year-old is on his way back to the U.S. after being severely wounded by a roadside bomb. Both of his legs were severed and he suffered extensive internal injuries, according to the newspaper.

Service runs in the Blank family: Jonathan's twin brother, Linden, is a former Marine now on the Augusta police force; their father Matthew is a private investigator; mother Karen Blank is an officer in the Wichita Police Department; and sister Abigael is an ROTC student at the University of Kansas.

Blank received medical treatment in Afghanistan and at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the U.S. hospital that treats military personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. His next stop is the military medical center at Bethesda, Md.

"Jonathan survived because he is a fighter," Brewer told the newspaper.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Sgt. Jonathon Blank. Credit: Courtesy of Wichita Eagle