The LaDuke Family
Specialist E4 Jared LaDuke was sworn into the Army on 9-11, 2007 and was deployed to Iraq on March 7, 2008 as part of the 4th Infantry Division. Ten months into a 12 month deployment, LaDuke was on a standard private security detail mission for the Command Sergeant Major of his battalion, when an obstruction down route caused them to make a detour. The detour proved hazardous as Jared’s four vehicle convoy was fired on by an electronic fire projectile which exploded on impact. Jared who was the gunner on the first vehicle suffered extensive injuries to his left leg. LaDuke spent a week at Ramstein Air Base in Landsthul, Germany and on January 23, 2009 he was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). Once at BAMC Jared underwent several surgeries and wash-outs to remove shrapnel from his leg. He was hospitalized for over a month and bed-ridden for 3 weeks. To improve the healing process Jared was fitted with a halo leg brace which restricts movement. The brace is both uncomfortable and cumbersome, it makes it difficult for Jared to sleep and shower and it makes it impossible for him to get in and out of a standard vehicle. When Jared was released from BAMC in late February he moved into Fisher House for two months, it was there that he heard about Operation Homefront Village. Thanks to Operation Homefront and the Boeing Corporation Jared’s most pressing needs have been met. Jared and his family have a more private place to call home and he’s got the room he needs to get around. Operation Homefront also provided LaDuke with a van to get him to and from his daily physical therapy sessions, Jared still cannot bend his leg so he needs the extra space. Prior to getting the van, the LaDukes’ were spending $800 a month to rent one. With this added expense now eliminated Jared is looking forward to working with a financial planner, provided by Operation Homefront Village – San Antonio, to help with investing and growing his money. This Purple Heart recipient has put in for the GI Bill and plans to pursue a college degree and then transition into a new professional career.