Marine Cpl Jose "Ivan" Perez was left with multiple injuries after an IED explosion in Fallujah, Iraq, on February 27, 2007. Already suffering from TBI from a previous explosion, Cpl Perez lost part of a finger on his left hand, and received a spinal cord injury leaving him with Paraplegic Cauda Equina Syndrome which requires him to spend up to 95% of his time in a wheelchair.
While returning from a mission, Cpl Perez and his convoy stopped to take a head count... at that moment his life began to change. Upon having his finger shot off by a sniper, Cpl Perez mounted his machine gun and opened fire on the insurgent. Later, while being treated for his finger injury, Cpl Perez heard a gunshot before falling to the ground. Not knowing he was paralyzed, and losing a lot of blood, Ivan was transported to a local hospital. Then airlifted to Germany, and in a coma, he was prepared for his evacuation to the States. Arriving in Bethesda, Cpl Perez would begin to learn of his injuries. After six weeks of treatment he was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas where he continued an additional 10 months of treatments and therapies.
Cpl Perez is a talented musician who sings and plays many instruments. Ivan also likes to fish and work with anything mechanical. An avid swimmer, he aspires to compete in the Paralympics one day. Presently enrolled in college, Ivan is working toward a degree in Architectural Design.
Cpl Perez is looking forward to living in a home that will accommodate his wheelchair and allow him the mobility he desires. He is grateful to all those who have anything to do with making his handicap accessible home become a reality. When asked if he would like to say anything to those who support Homes for Our Troops he shared the following, "Often times, people lose hope and think it’s the end of the world when they get hurt. People like you help those of us who need assistance realize that there is always a way and there is always someone willing to help you find that way. Thank you."
Thank you to everyone that has made the Texas 3-Star Project a success story! We handed the keys over to three deserving veterans on September 11th and could not have done it without all of our Volunteers and donors.
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