Phenix City Marine injured by IED, celebrated at home

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, ALA (WTVM) - Chase Chancellor graduated from Central High School in Phenix City in 2007.

A week later, he joined the Marines.

"When 9/11 happened, I always wanted to join the military, and the Marines have always been the best of the best, so I kind of always wanted to be in the infantry, first ones on the ground, go in and do my job," Chancellor said.

Chancellor did his job valiantly, deployed once to Iraq in 2008.

Then, again this spring to Afghanistan.

June 26th quickly became a day he would never forget.

His unit drove through an alley in support of a group of Marines.

"The first two trucks went through fine, my truck went through, hit the IED, just rattled us pretty good, destroyed our vehicle," Chancellor said.

As Chancellor exited what was left of his vehicle, he began to aide other Marines.

Then, it happened again.

"An 80 pound IED went off probably six feet in front of me," Chancellor said.

His mother, Susan Lawhon, received a call as she was headed to visit another serving in the Air Force.

His wife Christine, only a voicemail.

"I just pulled over on the side of the interstate. And sat there, I didn't know what to say, and of course they don't know a whole lot and they can't tell you a whole lot, all they can tell you is that he's been injured," Lawhon said.

"Actually never go an initial call, I actually got a voicemail. And the voicemail just told me that they had a message for me about him and that's all it said," Christine Chancellor said.

After a week in an Afghanistan hospital, a stop in Germany, and a flight back to Bethesda, Maryland, Chancellor was back on U.S. Soil.

His face, neck and shoulder tattered by shrapnel, he was honored Wednesday night by Central Baptist Church in Phenix City as their hometown hero.

He was also awarded the Purple Heart, for being injured in combat.

"There's just nothing like putting your hands on him and knowing that he's okay," Lawhon said.

Chancellor is back visiting family for a month before he returns to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to finish his enlistment.

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