cpl aaron jacinto
New Braunfels, TX
Army Corporal Aaron Jacinto served as a medic in the Army and Navy, deploying to Iraq in 2005 with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force and later to Afghanistan in 2011 with the Army. Halfway through his second deployment with the 2-27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, he experienced firsthand what it was like to be a patient.
On Nov. 19, 2011, CPL Jacinto’s barracks was hit by a mortar attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The attack resulted in the partial amputation of both feet, broken tibia, and internal injuries.
Aaron describes his rehabilitation process as “long and painful,” having undergone about 20 surgeries in total. After being discharged to do rehab at the Center for the Intrepid, Aaron says he felt “lost and defeated” not being able to walk or run. However, he was determined to regain those abilities. Within three years, Aaron was able to not only walk and run, but skydive, SCUBA dive and surf with prosthetics for his feet.
While Aaron has made progress in activities on land and water, he faces challenges within his own home. He currently lives in a two-story building that is not ADA compliant. He spends most of his time in his wheelchair, since he cannot stand for long and relies on his service dog Bear to help him get up the stairs. “My current place doesn’t feel like a home to me, due to the fact there is always something in my house preventing me from doing my daily tasks,” he says.
Aaron is currently a full time college student. He would like to use his medical background to go into the nursing field or become a physician’s assistant. He also wants to volunteer with a nonprofit that trains service dogs. He says a home adapted to his injuries will make reaching these goals attainable.
Originally from Aiea, Hawaii, Aaron is choosing to build his home in New Braunfels, Texas, because of the support he has there and to be close his prosthetics company.
Aaron says he appreciates the donors and supporters at Homes For Our Troops who are helping him receive this gift of a mortgage-free, specially adapted home. “The help you provide to me is most appreciated and won’t go to waste,” he says.