Honoring a HeroMy father fought in Viet Nam. God was with him and he returned home to my mother and started our family. He doesn’t talk much about his time in combat, and I’ve learned that this is typical behavior for many veterans. They serve their country and then quietly try to return home and reintegrate themselves into society. As a result of their desire for anonymity, many heroes walk among us every day. Although we appreciate their service we don’t get the chance to tell them “thank you”. Unfortunately, for many veterans, they return home under vastly different circumstances than when they left to do their duty. U.S. Army Sergeant Stephen Jackel is one of these men.

Sgt. Jackel, the father of six, served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan compiling a list of awards for valor including a Purple Heart, an ARCOM-4 Award for Valor, and two Bronze Stars. In August 2011, while on convoy security duty in Afghanistan, an IED exploded under the vehicle he occupied with his team. After the blast, Sgt. Jackel saved the lives of his team members by helping get them out of the vehicle and physically put out the fire inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, in the course of these actions Sgt. Jackel sustained industries resulting in bilateral leg amputations as well as a traumatic brain injury.

Very often, injured heroes like Sgt. Jackel, return home and, along with their families, are left to on their own to rebuild their lives and relationships. Operation Finally Home (www.finallyhomeUSA.com) is an organization that provides custom-built, mortgage free homes to heroes like Sgt. Jackel and the widows of the fallen who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Locally spearheaded by my friend Tim Jackson of Tim Jackson Homes, Operation Finally Home has committed to build a home for Sgt. Jackel, his wife Adriana and their children in the Dallas suburb of Little Elm. Unfortunately, projects like these require more than our good wishes. This is your opportunity to say thank you to someone who has sacrificed so much for each one of us. Sgt. Jackel is a hero who deserves our support. I ask that you please consider making a donation to fund this project. All donations are tax deductible. Please make your check payable to Operation Finally Home and mail it to P.O. Box 712, Allen, TX 75013 and include “The Jackel Family” on the memo line. Let me close by thanking you in advance for your generosity and by asking you to keep the Jackel family, and all of our brave men and women who willingly stand in harm’s way to ensure our safety in a dangerous world.

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