Local news and information from
Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Sedgwick, and Surry, Maine.
Visiting the area?
Find where to go and what to do in our Seasonal Guide Visitor's Portal.
Check out our newly rebuilt online store
by Anne Berleant
L.Cpl. Jacob Fox, who enlisted in the Marine Corp straight out of George Stevens Academy in 2010 and was injured in Afghanistan within weeks of deployment, held out his right leg—carbon fiber and titanium-built below the knee.
He calls this artificial limb his “every day” leg—as opposed to his running leg, his waterproof leg, or the one he wears with his Marine uniform.
Fox’s right and left legs sustained injuries from an IED (improvised explosive device) while on a foot patrol in the Helmand Province in September 2011; doctors amputated his right leg and performed numerous surgeries on his left, which was severely broken in the explosion.
After the bomb exploded, he said that marines with him on patrol immediately placed tourniquets on both legs. Combined with a speedy airlift, Fox received medical attention within “the golden hour,” he said in a recent interview.
“We knew from the start how fortunate we were,” said his mother Lynne Fox. “There’s a lot of guys who have lost three limbs.”
Fox said he has had around 14 surgeries on both legs, and started walking in January, after a setback the previous Thanksgiving from a post-surgery infection, which necessitated his final operation.
Lynn expressed the family’s appreciation for “how supportive our town of Blue Hill has been. We appreciate all their well wishes.”
Last March, he went snowboarding in Aspen. A few days ago he climbed the rocky trail up to the top of Blue Hill Mountain.
“Anything I didn’t think I could do again, I can…I didn’t think I could go up Blue Hill Mountain,” Fox said.
Fox has lived in Bethesda, Md., since his return from Afghanistan, first at the Walter Reed military hospital, and then in a nearby apartment. His sister Annelise stayed with him the first couple months after his release from the hospital, taking a leave of absence from college to help coordinate his medical appointments, which began many days at
7 a.m., Fox said. Then, in January 2012, his brother Ben, who had just graduated college, took over.
Parents Lynne and Allen stayed for nearly two months when Fox was first in the hospital.
Walter Reed hospital “is not a sad place,” Lynne said. “These guys are very proud of what they set out to do.”
Allen Fox agreed. “You can’t go through there without coming out changed.”
Fox said the hardest part of his recovery was “being here when my friends were over there…It was hard to not be able to stay in contact with them.” Members of Bravo Company, of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Fox deployed with were out of contact range five months after his injuries forced his return state-side.
Looking to the future, Fox said he is seeking a medical discharge in time to attend college in the fall of 2014, and is setting up an internship for the upcoming year. His current interest lies in the field of prosthetics.
Fox says he is “pretty much done” with recovery. “Now it’s just getting back to normal.”