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Cpl. Jonathan E. Dowdell enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004.
After six months of deployment in Iraq in 2006, Dowdell returned home to his family. In August 2008, Dowdell decided to End Active Service (EAS). Though it was a difficult decision for him, he had hopes of pursuing a career in law enforcement. Before long, Dowdell came to realize that he still had a strong desire to be a Marine, ultimately causing him to re-enlist. In March 2010, Dowdell’s unit was deployed to Afghanistan. After spending time at Forward Operating Base Delaram, Dowdell’s unit moved out to investigate intelligence of an IED manufacturing operation. On June 24, 2010, while conducting a dismounted investigation of a compound where it was suspected that IEDs were being manufactured, Dowdell stepped on a pressure plate IED. Following the explosion, Dowdell was left with severe injuries, including above-knee amputation of both legs, amputation of his left index finger, and right arm deformity as a result of a forearm contacture. The swift response of Dowdell’s fellow Marines saved his life, and after initial medical attention, he was evacuated to Germany. Following his treatments in Germany, he was brought to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he underwent several surgeries before being transferred to the Polytrauma Center and Veterans hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., to continue his recovery. From there, Dowdell was moved to Balboa Naval Hospital where he learned to walk with the aid of prosthetics. In May 2012, Dowdell relocated to Camp Pendleton in order to fulfill an internship in athletic training.
Dowdell’s extensive list of awards include a Purple Heart, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a combat V, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign medal with two stars, and an Iraq Campaign Medal with two starts.
Following his retirement, he plans to attend college in pursuit of a degree in sports management. After residing in Oceanside, Calif., with his wife Rebecca, daughter Kitura, and their two dogs, the family relocated to the greater Houston area in order for Dowdell to enroll into a Texas university.
Thanks to Operation FINALLY HOME, Harbour Classic builders, City of League City and Urban Companies, the Dowdell family will have a home to call their own.