Veterans

April 18, 2014

OATH leads to new home for Veteran Jerral Hancock

Kaelynn Edwards, Nicole Skinner and Army Spec. Jerral Hancock have a laugh via Skype with Gary Sinise of the Lt. Dan Band during a conference at Lancaster High School. History teacher Jamie Goodreau and her students started OATH, Operation All The Way Home to raise money to build a house for Hancock, a single father who is raising two children, and was severely injured in Baghdad. Sinise’s band will perform a concert 7 p.m., May 10 at the JetHawk Stadium to raise the remaining funds needed to finish the house. Tickets are $35, $50 and $100. For more information, visit www.oathtickets.com.

Commending Lancaster High School students and the Antelope Valley community, actor/musician Gary Sinise spoke via Skype, taking the OATH in support of building Army Spec. Jerral Hancock and his family a new home.

Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform 7 p.m., May 10 at the JetHawk Stadium in Lancaster, Calif.

Sinise is also known for his role as Lt. Dan in Forest Gump and Detective Mac Taylor on CSI New York.

“I’m very, very, impressed with what the students and community have done … we are just stepping in and lending a little bit of a hand to do a concert and help raise all the money needed to build Jerral and his family a new home,” said Sinise as guests listened in the high school’s library. He heard of Hancock during a veteran special on television.

For the past few years, Sinise has been traveling the county and raising money to build new homes for injured soldiers.

“It could happen to anyone on any given day, but that day it happened to me,” says Hancock, 27, speaking to a few people after the press conference. “It could have been the tank in front of me or behind me, I’m no hero, I’m nothing special, I was only doing my job.”

But special and a hero he is, especially to the students at Lancaster High School and the surrounding community.

It was Hancock’s 21st birthday when a terrorist’s bomb exploded his M-1A tank while he was driving in Baghdad, causing injuries that left him without a left arm, burns over 30 percent of his body and paralyzed from the chest down. “Today, tomorrow, yesterday … it is happening all the time,” said Hancock.

“When I first saw Jerral I though, surly a person with so many injuries has a good support system and everything they need,” said Lancaster High School history teacher, Jamie Goodreau. “That was a huge mistake and a huge lesson for our class- never assume.”

Goodreau is known for making history real and personal to her students by inviting veterans to speak to her class and give students firsthand accounts of war and the tremendous cost of freedom. When Hancock spoke, the students were captivated and inspired by his outlook on life and sense of humor. After Hancock left, they voted to do something special. Despite everything he has gone through, Hancock remains positive and encouraging. When students found out he was a single dad raising two young children (with the help of his mom and stepfather) in a small mobile home, Goodreau’s class formed Operation all the Way Home (OATH), a non-profit organization to help build a home for their new friend.

Lancaster High School history teacher Jamie Goodreau and Army Spec. Jerral Hancock listen to actor/musician Gary Sinise via Skype. Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform a concert 7 p.m., May 10 at the JetHawk Stadium to raise the remaining funds needed to finish a special house for Hancock and his family. Tickets are $35, $50 and $100. For more information, visit www.oathtickets.com.

“He is so amazing and so inspiring. We told him what we planned on doing for him and he told us to ‘go for it – it seems impossible but I know you can do it,’ he encouraged us,” said Nicole Skinner, who is now attending college but is still very involved in the project.

In four months, the students raised more than $80,000. Today they have raised more than $182,000 by having car washes, pizza night, yard and T-shirt sales. “Anyone who has had a bite of pizza or donated to a garage sale, thank you – you are all a part of this,” said Goodreau.

While other kids were hanging at the beach and enjoying their summer vacation, Goodreau’s students were pounding the pavement and brainstorming to raise money.

“A lot of these kids put in more than 80 hours a week, all summer and on weekends to help me – me and my family. That is amazing. They are still working hard. They are the ones that inspire and encourage me, they are the ones that are the true heroes,” said Hancock.

A month after his near fatal injuries, Hancock woke up in a hospital in Texas with his mother at his side. He didn’t remember anything about the attack.

Stacie Tscherny, Hancock’s mother, is very grateful for all that the students and community have accomplished.

“This is so exciting and wonderful that Gary is coming to help,” says Tscherny. “I wish this was the norm – that every soldier was taken care of like this, but I know it’s not. We do live in a very special community.”

Sinise comes from a family of veterans and cited a favorite quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30 president of the United States: “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>