SFC Justin C. “Chac” Menchaca entered the Army in 2006 at the age of 17 under the 18X program. He went to Infantry training, then Airborne school, and straight into the Special Forces qualification course. In 2008, he graduated as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant and was the Honor Grad of his class, as well as being one of the youngest to successfully complete the SF qualification course. He was assigned to 2d Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, NC.
On July 23, 2011, on his second combat deployment, SFC Menchaca was shot in the head during operations in Afghanistan. Unable to speak and with his right side paralyzed, his prognosis for recovery was poor. However, after intense therapy for seven months, Justin overcame the odds, and relearned how to speak, write left-handed, and walk, transitioning from a wheelchair to eventually using a cane and a manual leg brace. Justin returned to Ft. Bragg, where he moved into a training support role while continuing his rehabilitation efforts.
Now medically retired, Justin has not let his injuries stop him. He works out daily to maintain the progress he has made, and enjoys outdoor hobbies like shooting, hunting and fishing. He also hopes to learn how to scuba dive in the near future. In 2022, he married his wife Carissa. Together, they enjoy traveling, cooking, working out and hope to start a family of their own soon. Though Justin has made significant progress in his recovery, he still experiences obstacles within his home. In a non-adapted home, Justin constantly worries he will injure himself further by slipping in the shower or falling on the stairs.
A new specially adapted custom home will give Justin the space to have his own service dog and the ability to continue his recovery. He says a single level home without stairs will be extremely beneficial. The special adaptations, like roll-under counters, a roll-in shower, and the accessible walkway around the home will make everyday tasks easier and give Justin more time and freedom to focus on his goals. The safe environment will enable Justin and Carissa to raise a family and with the financial freedom to start his own business.
Justin is choosing to build his HFOT home in Texas, where he fell in love with the hill country and wants to settle down.
Justin would like to sincerely thank the HFOT donors and supporters for giving him the peace of mind, safety, and security of a fully adapted home. “Your gift enables me to have some freedom and independence and will help me live comfortably and pursue my dreams.”