BELFAST, Maine — Army veteran Jeremy Gilley managed to survive tours of duty in Iraq only to lose both of his legs in a roadside accident while attempting to aid the occupant of a wrecked vehicle on Route 3 in Palermo in December.
Gilley, 27, of Palermo had parked just in front of the crashed pickup truck on the morning of Dec. 18 and had gone to help the injured driver. But a 16-year-old driving a minivan did not see the accident and struck the parked truck, pinning Gilley between the two vehicles.
Because Gilley’s veterans benefits do not cover the cost of some specialized prostheses, including the pair he seeks, area residents have been raising money through potluck suppers throughout Waldo County.
Saturday’s benefit was held at Frank D. Hazeltine American Legion Post 43 in Belfast.
Gilley was unable to attend the benefit, but the supper drew a large crowd of supporters, including U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud.
Michaud said Gilley showed selfless courage in coming to the aid of the injured motorist and deserved the support of his state and nation.
“I’m very appreciative of his service to the country. It’s a very unfortunate thing, this tragic accident,” Michaud said. “I’m here today to see what help I can do to see him and his family get through these difficult times and to show my support both morally and financially.”
Michaud added that he expected a number of people to make large donations on Gilley’s behalf.
For information or to donate, contact Jackie Martin at 505-1131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: An early version of this story contained an error. While Veterans Affairs benefits do cover the cost of certain prostheses, Gilley is seeking a specialized pair that is not covered. For information or to donate, contact Jackie Martin at 505-1131 or email@example.com.