Along with the Stars and Stripes and banners for Marines and Prisoners of Wars, a Silver Star flag now hangs among the 181 military housing units at Moffett Field.
The special flag decorates the home of and his wife, who after months of multiple trauma care in Texas and at the , now have a home on federal land just north of Mountain View.
The Silver Star flag reminds area servicemembers and their families that among them lives a wounded soldier—and that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost thousands of lives, injured thousands of soldiers and apparently caused others to take lives and abroad in the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
Sgt. Jergens, 23, who in serious condition, has improved. However, he remains confined to a wheelchair after he lost both his legs. He's also suffered brain damage and can't remember a lot of vocabulary. He even asked his wife what day of the week it was.
His wife, Jennifer, whom he married in December 2010, looks older than her 19 years. She feels it, too.
"My friends are doing different things than I am," said the young bride. "I'm closer to people who are older."
On a typical day, Jennifer will get up before Brian. After showering, she'll clean up around the house. She then gets him up and into his wheelchair and takes care of his hygiene. After they both eat breakfast, it's off to doctors appointments. In their modified car, they'll run errands, return home for dinner, watch a movie and then head to bed.
"It’s been great being home after being in the hospital for seven months. It’s such a blessing," said Jennifer. Every day Brian makes improvements. She once wrote a blog, but now finds it too exhausting to update it.
Still, she works hard to hide her weariness and instead seeks comfort in the positives in their lives.
"We’ve met so many great people and they’ve come over and offered support," she said. "I have great neighbors and I know I can come over and borrow a cup of sugar."
But getting use to their new life has been a struggle. Even something as simple as going to the commissary at Moffett Field is a challenge. They've had to find a workaround since there aren't ramps on all of the sidewalks for Brian's wheelchair, Jennifer said.
She even shared that on a plane to Kansas for a military event, she and a flight attendant couldn't maneuver Brian out of the small airplane's bathroom. To the rescue came none other than Bo Jackson, the former Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Royals player.
Brian really wanted to give Jackson something in gratitude, Jennifer said. They found an Army keychain. On a piece of paper, Brian scribbled: "You are the reason I serve. Wish there were more people like you in the world."
Regardless of the inconveniences, Jennifer — who is from Santa Clara and Brian who is from Oklahoma — are happy to have found a home.
In their small, tight-knit military community at Moffett Field, the news of Brian and Jennifer's arrival spread. A little more than 50 people attended their official welcome home ceremony and the presentation of the Silver Star Flag to the Jergens on March 11.
They are now one of six military families with an injured servicemember at Moffett Field, according to James Brown, who coordinates the Bay Area welcome home escorts for active duty, , with the .
The Jergens have made Brown break one of his own policies — he's become like a surrogate parent to them.
"I've done this [escort] for hundreds of guys and the Patriot Guard Riders we have a policy that we don't contact the families after," he said. But Jennifer invited Brown to visit Brian after he arrived at the VA. "And we bonded. I guess because Brian's mom and dad are so far away, I helped fill that void of a father figure."
Another person who has been touched by the Jergens is Katie Montano, a wife of a Marine. Montano expressed how the young couple has quickly become a part of the community's focus.
"In a way, they have become like celebrities," she said. "This is what our country needs to remember."
Montano and another neighbor, Charlotte Thomas, whose husband is also a Marine, have become good friends with Jennifer. They, more than others, understand the support Jennifer needs because her reality could be theirs, too.
"I think anytime one of ours is hurt and we can offer support to the family, it puts it in perspective," Montano said.
"My husband, her husband, they will survive."