Stating that he was “undecided” about his future the graduate eventually opted for a military career.
Having decided to join the Marines, his military career would be on hold for another six years. A quick job running supplies to Eastern Washington turned into an eventual permanent job. Missing his check-in date for the delayed entry program, Bodle worked in the construction industry running heavy equipment, but still with a desire to join the US forces.
Bodel’s opportunity to serve his country finally came and he enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2010. A deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, would be a game changer for Lance Corporal Bodle, as he recently made a journey back into Washington State this past August, for a visit, and might make it back for his 10-year class reunion coming this June after he returns to Walter Reed hospital for additional treatment from injuries sustained in a mortar attack while deployed.
“I am just tired of still being in the system. I have had several medical boards and they still will not let me go,” said Bodle.
Bodle has been under medical care at Walter Reed Hospital since his Afghanistan assignment where he suffered injuries during a motor attack on his unit.
“I do not remember exactly what happened, just what people have told me,” Bodle said.
The Marine, working as part of the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. and was not in his assigned Abrams tank that day, had completed the daily mission and was off to get chow when the mortar attack caught him and members of his company out in the open.
“It was a hard decision for the corps men on the scene. We lost a large number of our company,” Bodle said. “They did the best they could under the circumstances.”
Bodle woke up, back in the states at the hospital suffering injuries to his arm and leg by shrapnel, losing sight in one eye and suffering head trauma. “I think my leg is fine, depending on who you ask.”
Having lost approximately three days from the concussion, Bodle was reported to also have lost 20 percent of his brain tissue, causing a very serious traumatic brain injury.
In an attempt to save his vision, medical procedures have given him “limited vision”.
“But I do not think they really want me to drive very soon.”
The military system has had Bodle medically boarded at least four times, and still has not granted the soldier a medical retirement. He had another “check-in” with the medical board scheduled on Jan. 6, but has to be under medical watch for at least another 100 days.
“I am just done with the East Coast, I just want to go home.”
And when he speaks of home…“Any place that has a summer and winter with a short spring,” said Bodle.
Bodle has learned that it might be possible for him to continue his care back in his home state, and has been trying to work toward that effort.
Awarded the Purple Heart by President Obama, the war hero was greeted by family on a short return home during this past Christmas holiday. Bodle is now back at Walter Reed, awaiting another medical board to finally be released from the military.
“I have heard stories of guys who have been in the system for seven years,” he said.
In an effort to assist with expenses that families have incurred, Chelsea Lane Linnabary, the wife of Marine Corporal Daniel Linnabary, who lost his life in the same attack, took the proceeds from her North Carolina “Purple Heart Tattoo” shop grand opening in 2013 and sent money to all of those involved in the attack.
To send notes of encouragement to Lance Corporal Evin Bodle, cards and letters can be addressed to: Marine Lance Corporal Evin Bodle, c/o Walter Reed Hospital, Building 62, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Maryland, 20889.
To thank Chelsea Lane Linnabary for her contributions or to send notes of encouragement you can look up; Purple Heat Tattoo on Facebook.