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Local

Diamond Marine critically injured in Afghanistan

Locals mobilize to raise funds for family, show support

DIAMOND — Area groups are mobilizing to support a local Marine who was critically injured last week by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan.

Joe Trippiedi, vice president and co-founder of local organization Operation: MOMS Cookies, said 22-year-old Cpl. Joseph Singer, a Diamond resident and 2008 graduate of Coal City High School, was injured during the blast last week. He spoke for Singer’s mother, Jennifer Cherveny, who on Monday left to begin the process of traveling to see her son at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Trippiedi said Cherveny heard last Thursday night that her son was injured, suffering broken ribs and legs from the grenade explosion. He also had about a quarter-sized hole in his leg and had a shrapnel wound to his stomach.

Initially, doctors thought Singer was stable enough to travel to Germany and then to the U.S. Instead, his health took a turn for the worse when a lung collapsed from a blood clot and he was placed on a ventilator and feeding tube.

Trippiedi said he and others have been working to help Cherveny get to Germany and also help cover her bills while she’s at her son’s side.

“She’s a single mom and she has two kids, but family and friends, we’re taking care of her,” he said.

Part of that care came in the form of setting up a fund through an area credit union.

On Monday, Trippiedi set up the Joseph Singer Fund through Morris Community Credit Union.

Anyone who wishes to donate may do so through either of the credit union’s branches in Morris and Diamond. For more information, the Morris branch can be contacted by calling (815) 942-2228 and the Diamond branch can be contacted by calling (815) 634-0910.

Trippiedi said that, already, local veterans groups and locals have pledged support and are organizing fundraisers.

“We’re a small community and everybody comes together to make things happen,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

He said Cherveny, a bartender at The Chrome Rack in Diamond, has been able to work out her absence with her employer, but the bills, like mortgage payments, will still be coming despite the lack of income.

“We don’t want them worrying about anything other than getting Joe back on his feet,” he said.

On Tuesday, Laurie Dunbar, office manager for Morris Community Credit Union’s Diamond branch, said there has been interest, but word is just beginning to get out about the fund. On Tuesday, fliers were finished and made available in the bank branch for people wanting to circulate them in the community.

“We’ve had a few donations, but since it was started yesterday, the word’s not out yet,” she said.

In addition to the fund, Operation: MOMS Cookies is facilitating an event that will spread yellow ribbons throughout the Diamond community. The group is inviting locals to meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Singers’ home, 220 S. McGinty Street, to put up ribbons throughout the village to honor Singer and other troops’ service.

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