SSgt Oscar Canon
Hometown: Dumont, NJ..
Age: 29 years old
Died:February 15, 2012
Unit: Assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California
Birth: Jun. 9, 1982, Colombia
Death: Feb. 15, 2012
Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon had a magnetic personality and drew in many people who became his advocates. Ed Eckenhoff, the founder and president emeritus of the National Rehabilitation Hospital, a private hospital in Washington, D.C., where Canon went for physical rehab, quickly befriended Canon. "He was a superstar at our place," says Eckenhoff, who as a college student was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. "He couldn't work hard enough. He wanted as much therapy as anyone could throw at him. He was very interested in getting back to the theater."
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 60 Site 9983
Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon lived in constant motion as an athlete and Marine. He served two tours of duty in Iraq, fighting in some of the war’s bloodiest battles. It was just days into his second deployment while on patrol that SSG Canon was hit by an IED. He had suffered extensive internal injuries and severe damage to his left leg.
While in the hospital Oscar had a choice : to remain in the Marines, he needed not only to keep his leg, but to stage an improbable recovery so he could pass the physicals required for duty. The alternative- a full amputation just below his left hip- would mean less risk , but the end of his military career. Oscar chose to fight to keep his leg.
Over the next six years, Oscar underwent 80 operations in an extensive limb reconstruction. His perseverance and good humor endeared him to many who worked with him through his long recovery. He eventually passed his physical fitness exam- for which he needed to run three miles in under 28 minutes- and stayed with the Marines as weapons trainer. He also worked with wounded soldiers through hospitals and non-profits, got married and had a child, Elijah, born in 2010. However, his surgeries continued.
After his 88th and final operation in the Fall of 2011, he was told he had a staph infection. On February 6, 2012 he drove himself to the hospital where he soon lapsed into a coma and died on February 15, 2012.
Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon was 29 years old from Dumont, New Jersey.