Sgt Jacob Pope
On Aug. 16, 2011, Marine Sergeant Jacob “Jake” Pope, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Technician with the 2nd EOD Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), was on his third deployment in Afghanistan when he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED).
Sgt Pope was on foot patrol in direct support of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines investigating multiple IEDs. He had neutralized two IEDs, when he was struck by a tertiary device. The blast resulted in the severe damage to his left leg, multiple breaks and tissue damage to his right leg, and second degree burns to his abdomen.
Sgt Pope was transported to FOB Edinburgh, where doctors amputated his left leg. Once back in the United States, Sgt Pope was treated at Walter Reed, where he endured more surgeries and began to walk with his prosthetic.
Now medically retired, Jake is living in a home that is not wheelchair accessible, forcing him to wear his prosthetic leg all day. This has put strain on his right leg, causing new injuries to his knee. His current bathroom is a safety risk and he often worries about falling, especially while his young daughter, Addison, is home.
As a single parent, Jake’s primary concern is his daughter’s wellbeing. Addison’s room is on the second floor, making it difficult for him to reach her. A specially adapted Homes For Our Troops home that is one level with an open floor plan will allow Jake to care for his daughter without restrictions. He is most looking forward to reading Addison bedtime stories without having to navigate stairs.
Jake’s injures have not stopped him from coaching Addison’s soccer team. Once he receives the home, he plans on being even more physically active. He will also have enough space to work on cars, a hobby that has helped in his recovery. Living mortgage-free will allow Jake to continue his college education; he earned an Associates of Applied Science in computer networking and hopes to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, something he has wanted to do for years.
Jake is most thankful to Homes For Our Troops donors for the opportunity to be a better father to Addison. “I see this house as a way for me to continue to be an independent father to my daughter, and there is nothing more important to me than that,” he says.