Man defies odds, sends son off to Marines on Father’s Day

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — On this Father’s Day, a man recovered from COVID-19 and a stroke just in time to make it home for his son’s sendoff to the Marine Corps.

A combination of family and faith made it possible.

“I got what I thought was a cold,” said Kevin Grubbs of Kalamazoo. “And ended up getting tested for COVID.”

That test came back positive. To top it off, he was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and later had a stroke in three parts of his brain.

He spent most of the spring in the hospital, later recovering at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. But he never counted himself out.

“That’s just how I rolled,” Grubbs said. “It’s just something that had to be done and dealt with and you just move forward.”

His son enlisted in the Marine Corps and was shipping out to basic training on Father’s Day. Grubbs had a goal in mind — to be back home for the big moment — and he did it.

“There’s no words that describe that type of love and joy that young man brings to me, his mom and his siblings,” he said.

“It’s pretty cool,” his son Caleb Grubbs said. “I think ‘blessed’ is the word. Definitely couldn’t write that in a Hollywood script. Pretty cool to see it happen like that.”

Caleb Grubbs just graduated from high school and is the oldest of his four brothers and sisters.

He’s got a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but the next time he’s home, he’ll be a Marine.

“It’ll feel amazing when I get back, though,” Caleb Grubbs said. “Realizing that I’ve accomplished my goal. And he raised a future United States Marine and that’s not a thing a lot of dads can say.”

This family’s journey is far from over.

“We will always be behind him, supporting him. We’re proud of him and every accomplishment that he has, and we look forward to more.”

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