Ground was broken on a new home in LaMarque for Sergio Trejo and his young family. The event marks a new beginning for the Army SPC and highly decorated Iraq war veteran.
“Never in my wildest dreams I thought I would ever be involved in anything like this. And there is no amount of gratitude to thank everybody involved for making this possible for my family, my kids, for myself.”
While completing his second tour of duty, an IED left him with a broken back, and was given the last rites three times. He became a home owner thanks to the Wounded Hero Home Program. Meredith Iler is national chair woman. She says applicants are evaluated by a national selection committee.
“Of course, the priority is those who need full adaptation, those who are in wheelchairs, double amputees, quadriplegics, paraplegics, etc. But once we raise enough money in the community and we’ve taken care of all of those, we have been able to award a few homes to those with a severe traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Trejo says his injuries resulted in him being classified no longer fit for the Army.
“Right now I’m categorized through the VA as individual unemployable, so I can’t really find my own job. We have a board coming up to hopefully change that. My main goal is to get into the police department.”
He says he has no regrets about what it took for him to receive a home.
“It makes everything so even more well worth everything that happened.”
“You can’t say it’s worth it because there are a lot of other guys that go through the same thing and that have given up so much, and they never get honored. They never get recognized like this.”
Jessica Trejo, an Airforce veteran, met her husband in the service. While she accepts the uncertainty of serving during wartime, it isn’t any less stressful.
“I told somebody it was harder for me to be a dependent Army wife than it ever was for me to be active duty Air Force. You never know when the last time you’re gonna talk to them. Every time you can you rush to the computer. I mean, it’s tough, very tough.”
The Trejo’s new home is scheduled for completion in November.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.