SGT Jereme Sawyer
Jereme Sawyer always wanted to serve in the military, so he joined the Washington National Guard as a cavalry scout when he was 17 years old and still in high school. Years after finishing his National Guard duty, he still had the urge to be in uniform, so he joined again, this time in the Army as a motor transport operator with the 296 Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team attached to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Division.
On April 3, 2012, during his second deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Sergeant Sawyer was struck by a reverse pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). The IED was buried below a t-wall barrier, and was detonated when the t-wall was lifted off the ground. The IED blew when SGT Sawyer was walking next to the t-wall, overseeing its removal.
SGT Sawyer’s right leg was severed immediately and his pelvis was fractured in several places. His platoon acted quickly, applying tunicates and getting him medically evacuated. He was taken to Afghanistan, Germany, Delaware, and finally to San Antonio Military Medical Center where he underwent multiple surgeries, including the amputation of his left leg.
Now medically retired, Jereme rents a home but it is not accessible. He is unable to move around the bathroom and the kitchen, especially when he has company over. His home is also carpeted, which is very difficult to navigate in a wheelchair. Jereme is most looking forward to having a specially adapted home with hardwood floors, a kitchen with cabinets he can reach, and a safe bathroom with roll under sinks and a roll in shower. Jereme’s mother has been living with him for the past three years as his caregiver. While he considers her “a great blessing,” Jereme wants he and his mother to gain their independence back.
Jereme says a HFOT home will give him closure, knowing he has a permanent place to live and will allow him to go back to school and get involved with his community. “I am grateful and feel very blessed to be receiving this home. It means a lot more independence for me and will allow me to take my life back. Homes For Our Troops is a second chance, this would be a chance for me to start my life,” he says.