SGT Jeffrey Hemenger
New Braunfels, TX
Mission Accomplished on June 9, 2017
On Dec. 3, 2007, while serving with the 1-75 Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division, Army Sergeant Jeff Hemenger was injured in a vehicle accident while on a raid in Baghdad, Iraq. As a result of the incident, SGT Hemenger severely injured his right foot and sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
After four years of undergoing limb salvage, his right leg was eventually amputated below the knee. Additionally, Jeffrey has lost 80 percent of his vision as a result of his brain injury.
In the years since his injury, Jeff has become passionate about adaptive sports, especially ski-biking, a sport that he is working on expanding at ski resorts. He also played sled hockey for the San Antonio Rampage and enjoys off road handcycling.
Despite his active life style, Jeff still faced mobility and accessibility challenges in his previous home. Having a mortgage-free, specially adapted home from Homes For Our Troops, with accessible appliances and a roll-in shower allows Jeff to care for himself with minimal assistance from his wife or his children. He also has wider doorways and hallways that enable him to interact with the family in a barrier-free environment.
Jeff says an accessible home helps him build confidence and gives him more time to work with adaptive sports. It is also beneficial for his wife, Sandra. Since she does not have to help him around the home as often, she will be able to go back to school. “Since moving into our new home, I can provide for myself more. It has benefited my family by allowing my wife more time to herself as she does not have to attend to me as much. It has given my children a place to feel rooted, they all have their own rooms and a huge yard to play in.”
Originally from Pennsylvania, Jeff and his family choose to build their home in Texas to be close to friends.
Jeff says this home gives him a part of his life back that has been missing since his injury, and he is grateful to all of Homes For Our Troops’ supporters who made that possible. “This house gives me a place of peace, comfort and a place to call home.”