Entire Town, Led by High-School Students, Rallies to Build a House for Injured Iraq War Vet

Washington Post


A handful of high-school students showed their undeniable support for an injured military hero by building him a brand new house for free.

Serving in the Iraq War as an Army Specialist, soldier Jerral Hancock returned to his home in Lancaster, Calif. missing an arm and trapped in a paralyzed body that was severely burned. He currently lives in an oversized mobile home that accommodates his wheelchair.

The Washington Post reports that Hancock's mobility is so limited, he recently got stuck in the vehicle when he needed to see a dentist "to fix his teeth, which were rotting from the effects of the painkillers he must swallow each day."

While Hancock has been honored with parades and celebrations in the past, he suffers daily, and students in a History class at Lancaster High School took notice. They made it their mission to give Hancock a space where he could live freely, and they're about to see it to fruition.

In six months, these students have raised $80,000 and obtained discounts on building supplies. They also found a contractor who would volunteer construction services, an architectural firm to contribute blueprints, and a real estate agent who would waive her commission. Even inmates at a local prison held a sale of their artwork and donated the proceeds.

Washington Post

With a loan assisted by a nearby Air Force Base, the students have closed escrow on a $264,000 property, and will break ground next month.

So THAT is how you get it done.

"People doubt us," Lancaster High School senior Joseph Mallyon told the Post. "But we just accept it and say, 'Watch what we can do.'"

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