LANCASTER ( — High school students in Lancaster plan to build a 27-year-old disabled veteran a new house from the ground up.

In 2007, Jerral Hancock was paralyzed, lost one arm and suffered burns over his body after his tank was hit by an IED in Iraq.

He has since learned to live in a wheelchair in his cramped mobile home in Lancaster.

“I couldn’t just come and go. I had to ask somebody to carry me downstairs,” Hancock said.

Hancock’s plight recently came to the attention of Jamie Goodreau and the students in her history classes at Lancaster High School.

As part of a yearly project to honor veterans, the students decided to build Hancock a home that’s handicapped-accessible and a place that will make it easier for him to be a father to his two children.

“The students really wanted it to be a grassroots effort and give many people an opportunity to be a team, and the community really stepped up,” Goodreau said.

Since June, the students have raised more than $113,000. So far, they’ve closed escrow on a property in the Palmdale area. The blueprints for the house are done and they hope to break ground during the holidays.

“He has such a great attitude about his life and we know he deserves better than what he has,” student Kaelynn Edwards said.

“This isn’t a gift for Jerral; we’re not just doing this for him. It’s not just a nice gesture. He’s already earned this. He’s paid for it,” Goodreau said.

To help fund the home for Hancock, visit Operation All The Way Home.


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