PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — A disabled Southern California veteran has received a brand-new house in Palmdale built by a nonprofit organization.
“I just want to say I’m really grateful and appreciated,” said retired Spc. Jerral Hancock, who just celebrated his 29th birthday.
The single dad and Army veteran was left paralyzed, lost one arm and suffered burns throughout most of his body in a bombing attack in Iraq eight years ago to the day.
But Friday, he entered his new home thanks to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which builds houses for wounded veterans.
About two dozen major sponsors contributed after students at Lancaster High School and their organization, Operation All The Way Home, decided they wanted to help.
“We have learned so much,” said Nicole Skinner of Operation All The Way Home. “How to go out and speak to people, ask them for donations.”
Hancock has been living in a 800-square-foot mobile home with his two kids.
“I don’t have to watch and roll through between my couch and the coffeetable and worry about hitting stuff,” said Hancock of his new 2,000-square-foot home.
His daughter, Anastasia, says bedtime stories can now take place in her new room as opposed to the way they’ve been done at their previous home.
“When it’s nighttime, I don’t always have to go to his room. He has to read me a story. Come back to my room and fall asleep,” she said.
Hancock is also able to control his “smart home” with his iPad thanks to the students, who raised about $300,000 in cash to get the effort going.
“They put two years of their life into it. It’s not a small thing. That’s 10 percent of their short lives,” he said.