Location: Stillwater, Minnesota
For a Marine who has served three combat tours in Iraq, how can he truly feel at home after combat if his house is literally crumbling around him?
Jason is a Marine who has given everything his country has asked. He enlisted after 9/11, fighting in some of the bloodiest battles of the Iraqi War including the Battles of Nasiriyah and Fallujah. He was there to protect the peace when Iraq had its first ever democratic election, and he deployed for Hurricane Katrina when his countrymen were flooded and in need. At this very moment, he is training at Fort Ripley in Little Falls as part of his ongoing service with the Minnesota National Guard.
Jason’s story doesn’t end there. His wife Genella used to be a college professor, but she suffered major complications after her last pregnancy requiring 42 surgeries. Now with Crohn’s Disease, she has to eat out of a gastric feeding tube and can only be out of bed for 6 hours a day. Her retirement savings were quickly eaten up by medical bills, and the loss of income financially squeezed the family of five.
While Jason earns a modest military income, all too often, Marines like Jason give up their futures to keep us safe and free. While Jason was busy being deployed, his peers were gaining skills for civilian life which allowed them to out-compete him for most jobs. With the wars of the past 13 years in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to a close, Jason and his family are an economic casualty in the transition to peace.
At some point, ‘thank you for your service’ is just not enough. Instead of thanking him, we need to do something tangible. Get personally involved. We need to make our ‘thank you’ action-oriented.
Jason and Genella’s house needs a number of fixes to keep it safe for his family and make it a home. For a combat-hardened Marine, he said that if the repairs below could be done, he’d be speechless. It would reduce his stress, help him provide for his family, and deeply touch his sense of valor.
We have a lot to do and a number of ‘stretch’ goals if the money comes in. Improvements include:
1. Repair roof — $1,000
2. Repair siding and soffit — $5,000
3. Fix drywall — $2,500
If we fund the top three, then we would like to:
4. Replace windows and doors — $7,000
5. Fix concrete entry way — $8,000
6. Fix plumbing — $7,000
7. Pour new garage concrete — $6,000
Our collective gratitude for our military men and women can serve a deeper purpose. Send a message that the nation will care for the people that serve and protect us. The motto of the Marines is Semper Fidelis or ‘Semper Fi’ meaning ‘always faithful’. Let’s make sure that even in civilian life, Jason and his family do not get left behind.
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