Sgt. Brian Jergens is getting better. His young wife Jennifer, 20, sees steady progress as he battles to regain a normal life, a battle so much tougher than the one he faced as a soldier in Afghanistan.
It was in Afghanistan that Jergens, 23, was gravely wounded. He now walks on two prosthetic legs, has poor eyesight and hearing, and is dealing with the trauma of a brain injury.
But Jergen’s increased mobility was putting him in danger. While the front porch of his home at Moffett Field had a wheelchair ramp, it didn’t have a rail around it. Brian has fallen off the porch a few times. That danger was removed a few weeks back when a team of volunteers built a rail, did some landscaping, and made changes to the master bathroom making it safer and more accessible.
Home Depot picked up the tab.
"We’re helping a wounded warrior," said Don Newton, Home Depot employee and Commander of American Legion Post 419, "trying to make life a little easier."
Newton said that Home Depot has made improvements to several veterans’ homes around the Bay Area. He called it a big commitment on the part of his company.
Walking out of his home with a steadying hand from Jennifer was an excruciating act of choreography. Each step was measured. What would have taken most people seconds to accomplish, took Brian several minutes.
Another act of choreography was setting up the home makeover. Janelle Silvis of Hands on Bay Area, Chaplain Fred Tittle of the Veterans Affairs Hospital, and Community Director of base housing Selena Gillette all played a role in facilitating the effort. Silvis hopes the volunteers who worked on the Jergens’ home will be so touched by making a difference that they’ll continue to volunteer through her organization.
When asked about the improvements, Brian’s answer was simple, "Thank you for helping. I need a lot of help."
Don't miss a thing in Mountain View!