Fighting for Eden

I had the opportunity to meet an amazing group of individuals this past weekend- a large group of Reconnaissance Marines.  They were in town to support a fellow Marine, Sean Reed, who was making his amateur debut in mixed martial arts.  Little did I know, this would turn into something MUCH bigger.  Let me back up a little bit…

For those of you who don’t know, I have recently gone into business with some of my best friends and opened a mixed martial arts training center along with a complete strength and conditioning facility.  I have been working with a large group of fighters over the past 2 years, so we’ve been hitting amateur, as well as pro competitions, quite frequently.  Normally, a small percentage of ticket sales and/or fighters’ purses go back into the gym.  This time around, Sean had an awesome idea.  He asked if we could take all of the proceeds and raise money for a cause that is very close to him.  I had no idea how much this would impact everybody.  Please take the time to read the following and see if you’d like to help:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Brothers in Arms Foundation is proud to announce our commitment to building a home for the Pearl family.  For those of you who don’t know Eden Pearl, please take the time to read below.

Eden Pearl was born on August 17th, 1975 in upstate NYEden Joined the United States Marine Corps in 1993 and became a Reconnaissance Marine, and Marine Special Operator; arguably the most difficult, yet coveted professions in the Marine Corps.

Eden served as a Team Leader in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.  On the morning of August 16th, 2009, while on his fourth combat tour, conducting operations in the Herat Province of Afghanistan, Eden’s vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).  Eden was thrown approximately 30’ from the vehicle and his body engulfed in flames. Eden suffered a traumatic brain injury and 3rd degree burns on over 90% of his body.  As a result of his injuries, Eden had to have both of his legs and one of his arms amputated.  Some doctors and surgeons have said that Eden is the most wounded man ever to survive, in the history of the United States Military.

Eden has spent the past two years recovering in hospitals in San Antonio, Tampa, and Denver, and will spend the next year in Omaha to undergo intense rehab for his TBL.  Eden’s wife, Alicia and their 6 year old daughter, Averey have moved in and out of several apartments and rental houses and plan to return to San Antonio where the Brothers in Arms Foundation will build them a home.  Being in San Antonio is a necessity as Brook Army Medical Center, and the Center for the Intrepid are both located there; equally important facilities in Eden’s recovery process.

Alicia is so committed to Eden that in this 2 year timeframe, she had the courage to complete a degree in nursing, so that she may be able to better care for her husband.

Eden is a dear friend of mine, and the reason that the Brothers in Arms Foundation was created.  I served in Iraq under the auspices of his leadership, and never in my life have I witnessed such divine leadership and devotion to duty.  Eden is the toughest man that I know.  I believe that with the help of prosthetics, Eden will one day be able to walk Averey down the aisle on her wedding day.

The Brothers in Arms Foundation is accepting donations in an effort to provide the Pearl family with a custom home built from the ground up.  This is a lifelong journey for the Pearl family and the design of a “universal house” will enable the Pearl family to have a home that meets Eden’s disability needs without making the family sacrifice the comforts of a normal home.

There will be no photographs of Eden, no press releases, no Extreme Makeover shows; merely a brass plaque that hangs on the front of home that reads, “This home was built by X # of grateful Americans for the many sacrifices made for the country.”  If you would like to be one of the grateful Americans, you may send a check, or donate through our website,  Please designate your donation by referencing “Eden Pearl” on your check or on the notes area given online with your donation.  All proceeds given towards the Pearl’s new home will be donated directly to the project only.


Thank you very much.


Phillip Noblin


Brothers in Arms Foundation


Sean took this all a step further and designed some awesome shirts.  He found a company, Rogue American Apparel, to help distribute a t-shirt that he designed to benefit the Pearl Family as well.  100% of the proceeds from their sale has gone, and will continue to go to the Pearl Family.  How sick do these things look?

We decided to forego our school shirts on Saturday evening, as Sean’s words described best when he stepped in the cage to address the crowd after the National Anthem- “We’re not fighting for Disciple MMA Academy tonight, we are FIGHTING FOR EDEN!”

You can still order yours here

I had never experienced such a commitment to a friend before.  Think about it- if you were seriously injured, wouldn’t you want people fighting to support your family every day?  Sean is a friend of Eden Pearl.  But I think the commitment that Sean and all of the Marines I met this weekend way exceeds friendship.  They are truly Brothers.



US Marines with Sean and the banner.


Oh yeah, and Sean won. 🙂



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Chris Merritt
Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA
Chris Merritt
About the author

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA
7 Responses
  1. sarah Villarreal

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Pearl,and I can completely understand your commitment to your friend. God bless you and all the brothers supporting the Pearl Family.

  2. Tony Fuentes Warm Springs Veterans Liaison

    Sean,it’s incredible what your doing in helping Eden,Alicia and Avery. Eden’s and his families story is so inspiring along with what all these wonderful organizations are doing to help this American Hero. I met Alicia Pearl not long after Eden was injured while I was volunteering at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. I now work at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital and today Alicia came to tour our facility with the possibility of Eden being admitted to finish his recovery and transition him home once their home is completed here in San Antonio. As a Veteran Liaison I will have the honor of being an advocate for Eden for the duration of his stay if their decision is to come to Warm Springs. I will order shirts for our staff once the decision is made. Rest assured regardless of the decision I will order shirts to help in any way I can to help Eden and his family. Thank you for what you are doing.
    God Bless
    Tony Fuentes
    Veterans Liaison
    Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital
    14747 Jones Maltsberger Road
    San Antonio, Texas 78247
    Will let you know of Alicia’s decision.

  3. Jeff

    I am not an MMA guy, I’m not a big fan or anything…but this is a very cool thing to do. Please let me know when the XXL is back in stock and I’d be honored to wear one. Kudos for doing something so honorable for a hero.

    1. Chris Merritt

      Jeff, they are back in stock as far as I know. If you run into any problems, contact Rogue through their website. Thanks for the support!

      Chris Merritt

  4. Wow– I was blown away by this story. My lifetime friend Pat Malone told me I needed to check this out. It’s awesome. Dom Fight Gear would like to thank Sean and the guys that made this happen. Outstanding work, guys.

    Rocky Haire
    Agent for Dom Fight Gear

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