Aug. 17, 1975 – Dec. 20,2015
Eden Pearl, formerly of Buffalo, who spent six years battling serious injuries he sustained while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan, died Dec. 20 in San Antonio. He was 40.
Born in Fort Bragg, Calif., he spent most of his youth in Buffalo and in the Town of Boston.
He graduated from high school in Rochester.
According to a lengthy profile on Mr. Pearl that outlined his extensive military service that was published Dec. 23 in the Washington Post, he joined the Marine Corps in July 1994, prior to turning 19.
After graduating from recruit training at Parris Island, S.C., he became an infantry rifleman and then went on to complete several very difficult forms of advanced military training, becoming a sniper, reconnaissance Marine, combat diver and critical skills operator in the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
He first saw combat in Kosovo, where he was a part of three operations from 1999 through 2001 serving as part of a peacekeeping force deployed to prevent ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.
In 2003, Mr. Pearl was part of the initial wave of Marines that invaded Iraq.
He deployed to Iraq again in 2004, serving in a reconnaissance unit that was deployed through early 2005.
As part of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., Mr. Pearl was selected to lead his own team of Marines in combat in Afghanistan ahead of its deployment in March 2009.
On Aug. 16 of that year, Mr. Pearl and members of his team were struck by a roadside bomb blast in which he suffered a traumatic brain injury and burns over more than 90 percent of his body.
He persevered through months of painful skin grafts and various surgeries. He also suffered the loss of both his legs and one arm as a result of infections.
Mr. Pearl was placed in a medically induced coma for a long period after his initial injuries and was shifted between several hospitals in Dresden, Germany, and stateside for specialized treatment.
Following his injuries, Mr. Pearl was promoted from gunnery sergeant to master sergeant and, ultimately, was medically retired from the Marine Corps.
He is survived by his wife of 10 years, the former Alicia Twede; a daughter, Averey; his father, Jeffrey; his mother, Catheine Stobie; and his grandmother, Marilyn Stobie.
Services have not yet been scheduled.