Marine received donation from Nation of Patriots to pay off outstanding medical bill

Published 9:49 am Monday, January 23, 2017

Nation of Patriots recently met with Ryan McSweeny of Rochester to present him with assistance for a medical bill incurred from surgery for an combat related injury he had received during a tour in Afghanistan in 2011.

McSweeny, a Purple Heart recipient and combat-wounded soldier, was injured from shrapnel during an IED explosion on May 25, 2011, in Garmsir, Afghanistan.

McSweeny received severe shrapnel wounds to his leg and one side of his body after a fellow soldier stepped on an IED during a mission.

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McSweeny was part of the United States Marine Corps, First Battalion Charlie Company, Third Marines deployed in Afghanistan during the spring of 2011. When he returned home, he went to the Veterans Hospital to have surgery on his injured knee.

The injuries were complex and he was not immediately able to have an operation. As a result, he was scheduled to have surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Once surgery was completed, McSweeny had an outstanding bill for his surgery of $6,321.30 that veteran’ s services would not cover. On Friday, Nation of Patriots members presented a check to cover the remaining balance in full.

According to a press release, members of the organization feels it is always an honor when they are able to assist one of America’s heroes who have made sacrifices defending their country.

The Nation of Patriots is a 501(c)3 entity who raises funds nationally to assist combat wounded soldiers.

During 2016, the Nation of Patriots  raised over $188,665 in donations, 100 percent of which is used to assist combat wounded soldiers and their families.

Mark and Trudy Harig and Bill and Lynn Koza have been volunteers with the Nation of Patriots since 2010, when Albert Lea Harley Owner’s Group Chapter signed on as a flag escort group. 

The Nation of Patriots takes a flag flown in combat each year and departs from Wisconsin on Memorial Day weekend.

The flag is escorted from Madison, Wisconsin, through 48 states  covering 14,500 miles for 100 days each summer until it arrives back at home in Wisconsin on Labor Day weekend. The fundraising effort annually honors America’s military members – past, present, wounded and fallen.

This year, Albert Lea Harley Owner’s Group will receive the flag during the 2017 Nation of Patriots Tour on May 31 when Mason City HOG Chapter brings it to Albert Lea.

The Albert Lea group will escort the flag to Delano on June 1, where another flag reception ceremony will occur. The tour and fundraiser is open to the public and all are invited to attend.

The route and information about the event is listed at or on the Nation of Patriots Facebook page.