KENDUSKEAG – They say, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. After getting badly injured in Iraq there were times when a Kenduskeag man says he wished he was dead. But the strength and love of his wife brought them both to a place today where they never dreamed they’d be.
It’s one of the calls military spouses dread. Marjorie Pennington said “They called and said Matthew was in an explosion. He definitely lost one of his legs. They weren’t certain about his other leg. And they were not certain that Matthew would make it back.”
Before Matthew Pennington left on one of his deployments, he and Marjorie had talked about the possibility of losing a limb, but still a person can’t prepare themselves.
Marjorie added “It was probably the most scariest time in my life. For me, because Matthew is my best friend. I mean he’s everything to me.”
Immediately, Marjorie Pennington knew she was going to be the one taking care of her husband. She said “He went and served our country. You know, I feel that that’s my duty, now, to serve him and make sure he’s taken care of.”
He came home with one less leg, a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.
Marjorie said “There was a point where he gave up because he didn’t feel like anyone was listening to him. And I can remember on September 16th of 2007, my husband said, ‘you know, I’m done. I can’t do this.’ And he ran his car at a high rate of speed into a brick wall because he just didn’t want to continue on.”
Now, years after the explosion in Iraq changed their lives, Marjorie not only cares for her husband, but she helps other caregivers get on track.
Matthew said “She is a tremendous rock star, getting all that stuff done. And really getting them taken care of. To me it’s just very, very impressive.”
Ten years ago, the Penningtons had no idea what direction life would lead them. Now, he’s a motivational speaker and she’s been named a Fellow with the Dole Foundation.