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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>