Faces of Valor event to honor wounded vet by building him a workshop
By E.B. FURGURSON III | The Capital, Annapolis, Md. | Published: June 13, 2019
(Tribune News Service) — Retired U.S. Marine Cpl. Clark Cavalier does not depend on the kindness of strangers but they have sure stepped up since he lost both legs in Afghanistan.
After more than 100 surgeries, including the last just weeks ago to finally repair wounds on his haunches, Cavalier is humbled and grateful by all the good works done on his behalf. “I can’t explain how grateful I am,” Cavalier said.
That also includes the new home he moved into 18 months ago in MaryDel on the Eastern Shore. It was built by the Steven Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation with all the accommodations he needs to lead an independent life. They also built a home in Crownsville for Adam Keys and multiple amputee and friend of Cavalier’s who he met in physical therapy at Walter Reed.
“I had been looking for land because I like to hunt,” Cavalier said, “And this place is out in the country,” he said of the 37 acres of woods except for the clearing where the house stands. He even bagged a turkey by bow and arrow from his garage.
He is also an avid woodworker with a basic shop in his garage competing for space with his van.
That is where the Faces of Valor foundation comes in.
Founded by former Chick and Ruth’s Deli owner Ted Levitt, the charity honors servicemen and women and first responders. This year Cavalier is their honoree.
“We are going to build him a shop, with everything he needs,” Levitt said standing in Cavalier’s garage earlier this week.
The 11th Annual Faces of Valor Family Fundraiser, a combination motorcycle ride, car show and picnic at the Annapolis Elks Lodge June 23, hopes to spur donations for the cause.
“You know he didn’t ask for us to do this, none of these guys do. We had to pull it out of him. And he finally said it would be great if he had a 20x20 shop. I told him that’s not big enough, and that’s what we are going to do,” Levitt said.
“We need the support of the community to make it happen. We do it every year and we will do it again.,” Levitt said.
Cavalier remembers the conversation. “I thought asking for a 20 by 20 shop was too much. Ted laughed in my face. There is a whole team of people at Faces of Valor like him. It is overwhelming.
“It is just a lot of good people who want to help out of the kindness of their heart.”
It was Easter Sunday 2011 when Cavalier was on routine patrol with his 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines unit in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
“We were crossing a canal, jumping across, I landed in a different spot, right on a IED,” he recalled during a visit at his home. “For the first few seconds it did not seem like much.”
He had lost both legs instantly.
“I had a great group of guys. They pulled me over the next berm and immediately gave me first aid, tourniquets. They saved my life.”
He was given drugs to knock him out. “Once I was on the helicopter, well, when you are talking too much they give you meds until you shut up,” Cavalier said. “I woke up a week later at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, now it’s Walter Reed.”
He was there 11 months, the first time. And has returned for physical therapy and more surgeries.
I’ve had a very strong support system from the beginning,” Cavalier said. “People in my hometown (Plaquemine, La.) got together, even though I asked them not to, and raised a lot of money. They also came together to help make my parents’ house wheelchair accessible.”
He laughed at the memory of how many people and organizations rallied around him, then and now.
“It was crazy how many good people were fighting over who was going to be the best. I mean it’s great but it was funny at the time.”
Now it’s Faces of Valor’s turn.
On June 23, the 11th Annual Faces of Valor Family Fundraiser, holds three events in one big effort. It starts with a motorcycle ride from the Outback Steak House on Forest Drive, across the Severn River and up Main Street ending at the Annapolis Elks Lodge in Edgewater.
At the Elks Lodge there is a car show, with prizes given for the nicest rides.
And then there is the picnic itself running from noon to 2 p.m.
Ticket prices vary. If participating in the bike ride or car show advance tickets are $25 and $20 for passengers. If you are just a picnicker advance tickets are’s $15, and $10 for teens and children. Add $5 per ticket if you are buying at the door. Go to www.FacesOfValorUSA.org for further information and advance tickets.
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