[r55] COLUMN: Thanking a hero within our community (9/12/2014)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Start Date: 9/12/2014 Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 9/12/2014 End Time: 4:00 PM

Thanking a hero within our community

The moratorium of September 11th has passed, bringing forward a variety of emotions and memories. On that day, I remember being with my family and praying for our nation as we all suffered through the tragic events that unfolded. Eventually many military members would be sent to war, including some from our own community.

I have always been an advocate for those who sacrifice themselves to fight for the freedoms we hold so dear in this country. As a state legislator, I have supported several pieces of legislation that advocate for the rights of our servicemen and women and regardless of my role - I will always continue to support them and their needs.

I was so proud to be a part of a unique groundbreaking ceremony this past weekend. Rush County resident, Army Specialist Jacob Lyerla was chosen to receive a home from the non-profit organization Homes for our Troops. This organization works to build specially adapted homes for service members across the nation that have received life-altering injuries post September 11th.

Jacob was severely injured on September 21st, 2009 as he was thrown from his vehicle during an attack in Afghanistan. He was just 19 years old at the time and was rendered paraplegic due to his injuries. Now as a 24 year old, he is in the process of receiving a home from Homes for our Troops and is looking forward to beginning the next chapter in his life.  

Homes for our Troops was founded in 2004 to support veterans as they rebuild their lives, despite their tragic injuries. The home will be mortgage-free and specifically created to fit the needs of Jacob and his family.  The groundbreaking ceremony for Jacob’s new home was a spectacular event, and I hope that we can all find additional opportunities to support Jacob and his family.

There are different ways that you can help. One of which is by donating funds directly to Jacob’s build through the Homes for our Troops website at www.hfotusa.org/donate. You can also be a part of volunteer day when they lay sod. On that day a picnic will be provided by Homes for our Troops and I will be there with donated Brau Haus fried chicken to help feed volunteers.

Jacob Lyerla was one of those veterans that paid a great price as he fought to defend our country. He was willing to lay down his life for me – and you – and for that I am incredibly grateful and humbled. I encourage you to visit their website page to learn more about Jacob at http://www.hfotusa.org/lyerla. Here you will see a short biography outlining Jacob’s life including a video that describes his injuries and how the new home will fit his needs, helping him live independently.


Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.

Homes for our Troops Groundbreaking.jpeg