Veteran Stories

Jasper Perry

Having a grandfather who served during World War I and a father who served during World War II, it was only natural that Jasper Perry joined the military to serve during the Vietnam War.

Jasper enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after attending college in 1963. He wanted to make sure that he received his education before enlisting and that he had the option to continue his education afterwards. He completed Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. From there, Jasper was shipped overseas to retrieve dead bodies, uniformed or otherwise, throughout the Philippines, Guam, and Vietnam. One of the bodies he retrieved blew up on him, and fragments from the explosion impacted his own body. The effects from that experience didn’t truly manifest for another four years. Jasper earned the rank of Airman 1st Class before he was honorably discharged in 1969.

Upon returning to civilian life, Jasper had to adjust to all of the social and racial tension that was taking place across the nation. He was able to work different jobs throughout his civilian career. He even found love when he married his wife, Elizabeth. However, four years after the fragments impaled his body, Jasper began to experience the onset of paralysis. Not much time passed before he was completely paralyzed from the waist down.

Living without the use of his lower body causes Jasper to struggle with many tasks within his own home. Washing himself and using the restroom are particularly difficult. With assistance from The First – A National Banking Association, Purple Heart Homes will work on the Perry home to make the bathroom handicap accessible as well as replace part of their walls. Jasper and Elizabeth are both grateful for this opportunity to live in a home that is safe and accessible. “The renovations from Purple Heart Homes means a lot. The convenience will be a wonderland for us, especially the bathroom,” Jasper told us.

Thank you for your service, Jasper! Welcome to the Purple Heart Homes family!

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