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NEW YORK - A group of Marines and ex-Marines who fought in Iraq — including two wounded there — is featured in a beefcake calendar being sold to help wounded veterans.
The "America's Heroes" calendar is being sold by Freedom is Not Free, a San Diego-based nonprofit group that helps injured service members and their families with such expenses as travel, mortgage and utility bills and special beds for burn victims.
Reyes and the other men who appear in the glossy 2007 lineup served in Iraq in Marine reconnaissance units. Sgt. James Wright, 31, who lost his hands and part of his leg, appears on the back cover in full uniform, saluting with what's left of his right arm.
Several members of the group, promoting the calendar on a cross-country tour, said Thursday they have medical conditions, ranging from combat stress-related symptoms to injuries to their feet, knees, hips and backs from carrying combat loads of more than 200 pounds.
When service members come back, "many don't have the financial or emotional support to get back to daily life," said former Sgt. Michael Saucier, 24, of Prior Lake, Minn., who served two Iraq tours and is now a carpenter's apprentice in Lake Tahoe, Nev.