For Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Hackett, life would never be the same after losing his right leg to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011.
But now, after a four-year recovery, it appears that Sgt. Hackett is ready to begin a new chapter in his life — with a brand-new, custom-built home designed just for his needs.
According to a July 26 Watertown Daily Times article, Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit organization that constructs specialized homes for wounded and disabled veterans, unveiled Sgt. Hackett’s new home on Saturday, July 25, in Mexico, NY.
The single-story home, located in the town of Mexico to be closer to his wife’s family, gives the wheelchair-bound Sgt. Hackett access to more than 40 amenities. Home builders incorporated features such as widened doorways, a roll-in shower, pull-down shelving and lower counter tops into the home.
The entire dwelling has also been designed to be wheelchair-accessible, which Sgt. Hackett said will take pressure off his leg. His family’s current home, in Belleville, NY, is not wheelchair-accessible; the veteran has had trouble navigating around the house since returning home and has even fallen down the stairs.
So far, Homes for Our Troops has constructed 192 custom-designed homes for veterans just like Sgt. Hackett. For Sgt. Hackett and his family, the dwelling symbolizes a new beginning, he said.
“Now I can officially say my journey is complete,” Sgt. Hackett said. “I just wanted to get home and get my kids back into a regular routine and get back into a normal life. It was a long process and well worth the wait and well worth the time and effort people put into making this home. I now feel safe doing things again once I move in.”