Waxhaw, NC

Mission Accomplished on June 13, 2008

Jonathan “Jon” Roberts was born and raised in the Philippines, where his parents worked as missionaries. Shortly after Jon graduated high school, a pilot, who worked with his father, and the pilot’s wife were captured and killed by Muslim rebels. Jonathan was friends with the pilot’s three children and the news had a profound effect on him and motivated him to enlist. “I wanted to join the U.S. Army to help prevent that from happening to any more American children.” 

On Aug.17, 2005, while serving as an Infantryman on his first deployment with the XVIII Airborne Corps, Army Sergeant Roberts (who was then a Private First Class) sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after being struck by an 18-wheeler in Baghdad, Iraq. Jon was rushed to the hospital in Baghdad, where they performed emergency brain surgery on him. 

Once back in the United States, Jon spent the next three months in a coma. His doctors recommended that his parents put him in a nursing home. Never giving up on their son, Jon’s parents stayed by his side as he gradually relearned how to talk and walk again with assistance. Since his parents were missionaries abroad, they did not have a home in the U.S. adapted for Jon’s injuries. In 2008, Jon and his parents were relieved when Homes For Our Troops built a specially adapted custom home for Jon on land next to his grandfather and aunt. 

More than 12 years after receiving his home, Jon still cannot walk independently, but his legs are strong. His HFOT home provides him with enough space for his recumbent tricycle, which he uses to stay active. He also does horse therapy regularly at a local farm.  

Jon is grateful to be living in a barrier-free environment where he can continue rebuilding his life. “I appreciate it very much that HFOT built a nice home for me right next to my family,” he says.