MEXICO – The newest residents of the town of Mexico received quite the introduction to the community during a ceremony held Saturday at Mexico Middle School.
United States Army SFC Jeffery Hackett and his family were greeted by dozens family members, friends, local politicians and soon-to-be neighbors who thanked Hackett for his military service, which has left the veteran permanently injured.
In 2011, Hackett was serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he triggered a wire-tripped improvised explosive device, which caused him to lose his leg. After the incident, Hackett was airlifted from the battlefield to Germany and was eventually brought stateside to reunite with his wife, Bobby Jo, and his three daughters.
For his service, Hackett and his family have been awarded a new home in the town of Mexico, courtesy of Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Hacketts’ home will be built over the next six to nine months.
The goal of Homes for Our Troops is to restore some of the freedom and independence veterans sacrificed defending America, as well as to enable veterans to focus on their family, recovery and rebuild their lives.
Currently, Hackett lives in a home with stairs that are not wheelchair accessible, making everyday chores problematic. The features of the specially adapted home Hackett and his family will receive will help to alleviate some of those concerns.
“To take a shower without having to worry about falling down or not is a great feeling,” Hackett said Saturday.
Hackett thanked those in attendance for welcoming his family into the community, noting that he finally has a place to call home.
With his family by his side, Hackett sat in front of dozens of people at Mexico Middle School and listened graciously as he was thanked for his service by several local leaders.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner read a proclamation, which was unanimously approved by legislatures, recognized Hackett and others who have served in the military.
Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus thanked Hackett for his service and then presented him with an American Flag courtesy of Congressman Richard Hanna.
Mexico Academy and Central School Superintendent Robert Pritchard welcomed Hackett and his family to the community, noting the honor it is to call Hackett a neighbor.
“I’m glad you’re among us and I’m proud to be your neighbor and your children’s superintendent,” Pritchard said. “I’m honored to be here with you.”
Another community event will be held near the completion of the home, which will invite community members to help install the landscaping plan of the home.
For more information about the event contact Community Outreach Coordinator Katelyn Donovan at [email protected]