Fallon-based Army Sergeant Jesse Jackson and his family recently received A Warrior’s Wish of a dream Disneyland family vacation from Hope for the Warriors.
Taking place during Christmas, the family enjoyed an all-expense paid, five-day Disneyland vacation.
Hope for the Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope to service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish, honors the goals and desires of severely wounded service members, veterans, and their families.
“If not for Hope for the Warriors, my family would probably not have experienced such a magical Christmas this year,” said Jackson. “Words cannot express how much me and my family are so grateful to the support of Hope for the Warriors and its a Warrior’s Wish program.”
In 2003, the California native enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. Providing route clearance and base security, Jackson deployed to Iraq three times, receiving a Combat Action Badge and Purple Heart Award.
On Dec. 6, 2006, while on patrol in Sadar City, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade resulting in injuries for Jackson and the majority of his squad. He was treated for his shrapnel wounds and finished his deployment.
Upon returning to Fort Hood in 2008, doctors found there was no cartilage around his right knee. Jackson underwent his first knee surgery to regrow and replace the cartilage. However, he also began pre-deployment training and deployed for his third tour to Iraq in June 2009, this time to Baghdad.
While in Baghdad, Jackson learned the replaced cartilage in his knee didn’t mend. Therefore, once retuning home in February 2010, he began the medical board evaluation process and medically retired from the Army in March 2011.
Today, the father of three still receives continuous care for his right knee and has undergone additional surgeries since retiring. Jackson and his family enjoy fishing and short beach trips to the West Coast.
“Army Sergeant Jackson is just one of many who will forever have lasting physical effects from his service,” said Robin Kelleher, president and CEO of Hope for the Warriors. “Due to training, multiple deployments and tight budgets, many military families aren’t allotted the opportunity for extended family vacations. Therefore, it’s a honor and a privilege for Hope for the Warriors to grant this vacation for Sergeant Jackson and his family to create some lasting memories together.”
In 2017, 13 wishes were granted through Hope for the Warriors. The wishes fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
Jackson’s wish was sponsored by an anonymous donor attending the Waltrip Brother’s Charity Championship event.
For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for the A Warrior’s Wish program, contact Chrystal Keilers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-776-9379.
For information and to apply for a wish, go to hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish.