SGT Emmanuel Melendez-Diaz

Poolesville, MD

Mission Accomplished on Jan. 29, 2022

Emmanuel “Manny” Melendez-Diaz always felt a calling to join the military. He enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman in 2003.

On Dec.4, 2004, in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, Sergeant Melendez-Diaz was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division on a road clearance patrol when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). This resulted in damage to his right leg, severe nerve damage in the left foot, severe pulmonary disease, and severe intestinal damage. In March 2006, doctors amputated Manny’s right leg above the knee. He was medically discharged from the Army in May 2007.

Now medically retired, Manny enjoys handcycling, kayaking, and spending time with his wife, Natibel. The two have hopes and aspirations for their future, but they were forced to put many of them on hold because of the daily restrictions Manny experienced in their previous home.

They feel relieved Manny finally has wheelchair access and a yard when he received his specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home. He no longer has to deal with the daily frustration of damaging the walls with his wheelchair.

He especially is happy he is able to make meals together with Natibel in the home’s fully accessible kitchen. The financial freedom of a donated home provides the perfect foundation for Manny to fulfill his dream of opening his own catering business. Natibel is grateful to the peace of mind that the HFOT home brings and loves seeing her husband comfortable and happy, rather than struggle in his everyday life. The home also provides Natibel with the freedom to pursue her goal of opening her own makeup company. In the future, they would also like to start a family.

Manny and Natibel chose to live in Maryland to eliminate long travel time to the hospital.

Manny thanks donors and supporters of HFOT for giving him new hope. “Thank you for helping me to be closer to the hospital, get my medical care easier, and regain mobility in my house.”

related articles:

  • WDVM, Jan. 29, 2022 Home For Our Troops is best known for building homes and rebuilding the lives of injured Veterans. That’s why they are here to present for another key ceremony for Sergeant Melendez-Diaz. Read more.
  • FOX 5 DC, July 17, 2021 Rebuilding Veteran lives one donated home at a time. That was the goal on Saturday as the non-profit, Homes For Our Troops announced the building of a specially adapted home for a Montgomery County Army Sergeant who was injured in Iraq. Read more.