Sgt. Stephanie Vasquez
Five-Time NFL Pro Bowler Jared Allen and his foundation, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors (JAH4WW), is partnering with the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council to build and donate a mortgage-free, handicapped-accessible home in Portland, Tennessee for local wounded United States Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Sergeant retired Stephanie Vazquez. The home for Sgt. Vazquez is the first home built by JAH4WW and the Southeastern Carpenters in Tennessee.
Sgt. Vazquez was critically wounded while deployed in Afghanistan in 2011 during a routine patrol when her unit came under fire. Despite the loss of her left leg and dozens of surgeries, she maintains a “can’t hold me down” attitude as she pursues activities such as hiking, walking, horseback riding, snowboarding and, her new love, playing sled hockey with the Nashville Predator Sled Hockey Team.
Stephanie and her daughter currently live in Tennessee in a home where stairs are dangerous obstacles, showering is a perilous task, and the absence of other handicap-accessible features can lead to further injuries and daily difficulties for an amputee. Her new home will be 100-percent accessible and tailored specifically to accommodate Sgt. Vazquez’s injuries, and will include adaptations making it easier her to live her daily life in the comfort of a home that works for her.
This project for Sgt. Vazquez is a continuation of the strong collaboration between Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) nationwide, and for this project in Tennessee, the SECRC, led by Local Union 223 in Nashville. The foundation is currently building three additional homes across the country with the help of the UBC.
“I can’t even begin to express how much I appreciate our veterans, and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to call these heroes my friends.” said Jared Allen. “This Veterans Day I can’t help but think about the men and women fighting for us today who will need our help. With the help of our sponsors and donors I look forward to continuing to give our veterans the they home they earned for their service and sacrifice.”
To stay up to date on Stephanie’s home build, follow Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors on Facebook and Instagram at @JAH4WW. To make a donation towards her home, click here.
ABOUT SERGEANT STEPHANIE VAZQUEZ
Stephanie Vazquez, born in Charlottesville VA, was raised by her parents along with her four brothers in Williamstown West Virginia. She moved to Oceanside, CA in October of 2005 when she enlisted in the Army. A single mother, Stephanie joined the service hoping to be able to provide and support her small family, but quickly became extremely dedicated to the military and showed great promise. Seven years into her service she was handpicked by the Commander and Sergeant Major of the Battalion to be the NCOIC of the BN FET (Female engagement team). She deployed overseas to attend the first Female engagement team school in Baghram, Afghanistan, where her life would be forever changed. Three weeks before her team would be returning to the USA, she was on a routine patrol when the unit started taking small arms fire, RPGs, and mortar rounds. It was during this fire fight that Stephanie sustained the critical injuries that she is still dealing with today. Once back home, she began her long road to recovery and underwent 18 surgeries on her lower left leg as well as three spinal cord surgeries. Unfortunately, the surgeries to salvage her leg were unsuccessful and the decision was made to amputate. Stephanie is determined to not let her injuries define her and will “never let the enemy win.” Since the loss of her leg she has relearned how to run, horseback ride, snowboard, hike, and swim. She has also found a new love, sled hockey, and plays for the Nashville Predators Sled Hockey Team.
ABOUT JARED ALLENS HOMES FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS
Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors is a non-profit organization created for the sole purpose of raising money to build or modify homes for America’s injured Military Veterans. Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors was established in October of 2009 after NFL Star, Jared Allen returned home from a trip to the US Military Bases in the Middle East. Jared was moved by the commitment, dedication and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom. It is Jared’s hope that this foundation will help make the lives of wounded vets a little bit easier. Since its inception JAH4WW has built 16 homes with 4 homes currently under construction in Florida, Tennessee, Michigan and California. For more information please visit: http://www.homesforwoundedwarriors.com