Veteran Jay Briseno, Jr., wounded in Iraq in 2003, was welcomed to his new home in Manassas, Virginia with bells and whistles and a few Redskins players too.
Briseno grew up in Manassas. He was a high school athlete, excelling in track and field and football. Of course, being from the area, he was a big fan of the Washington Redskins.
As a way to help pay for college at the reputable George Mason University, Briseno decided to join the U.S. Army as a Civil Affairs Officer. During his first year at the university, he was called into active duty.
According to Redskins.com, Briseno was sent to Iraq. While stationed there, he was shot in the back of his neck by an Iraqi bystander. His spine was severed, causing him to suffer two heart attacks. His injuries left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to swallow or speak.
When he returned home, he required 24/7 care from his family. Without it, he probably would have never made it as far as he has. Although his parents care is invaluable, their home was not equipped for someone with Biserno’s disabilities.
NBC Washington reported this week that Briseno was honored with a new house, built with the help of Helping A Hero. It is equipped with a therapy bedroom suite with a full lift system, an accessible bathroom and a full shower.
“It’s overwhelming,” Briseno’s father, Joe said. “It’s America saying thank you to my son for the service that he did for our country.”
Redskins.com reported that at the unveiling of the new house, Redskins fullback Darrel Young, 80’s Greatest Redskin Ed Simmons and the First Ladies of Football were on hand to give Briseno Jr. an autographed Joe Theismann jersey.
“What a tremendous opportunity it is to come up and speak,” Young said. “It is my day off and Tuesday’s usually our community day, but when I heard about this I said, ‘You know what, this is some special to me.’”
He added, “My brother’s been serving for 16 years in the United States Army. He’s done five tours over in Afghanistan, his wife has been over there as well, so I know what it’s like to be away from family, not knowing what they’re going through the next day, so when I heard about this opportunity, I had to jump on it.”
Young said the gift was simply a way of saying thank you. “What you do is what everyone does in the military. Make us safe. We can’t be worrying about the new iPhone and stuff like that when people are putting their lives on the line.”
Wounded Warrior Jay Briseno’s House when it was almost completed