Quadriplegic Vietnam Veteran receives repairs to damaged house
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Staff and volunteers from Hattiesburg Habitat for Humanity and Home Depot made house repairs for a local Vietnam Veteran. Jasper Perry of Hattiesburg was injured oversees and is now quadriplegic.
The heavy duty wheel chair Perry uses broke the walls inside his home, which leaves holes and deep marks.
Perry said, "Well it's gratification, having the joy of the community to want to help bring a veteran that is disabled to give him some pleasure out of living."
Perry was injured while serving the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Airman in the 3960 Civil Engineering Squadron.
"I was out of it, I could still bare the pain, they operated me without anesthesia, I basically just had morphine" said Perry.
He said he was working as a Graves Registration, one of his duties during the war was to search for fallen American soldiers. "When I went in to pull a body because we could not tell if it was an American or not, it blew up" said Perry.
He added, "And that is when I got cut in half."
He was honorably discharged in 1968 after a service related accident and moved to Hattiesburg where he met his wife, Elizabeth. Mrs. Perry said, "I was thrilled to hear from Home Depot and Habitat to do this job."
He later completed his college education at University of Southern Mississippi through the “Bootstrappers” program, a degree completion program for military personnel.
Mr. Perry was appointed Hattiesburg deputy tax collector in 1976-1978 and worked with the Community Action Agency of Pearl River Valley Opportunity from 1978-1998.
He also dabbled in politics and ran as the Democratic Nominee for Forrest County Circuit Clerk in 1978 and District 4 Supervisor in 1991.
Mr. Perry received three medals for his service: Good Conduct, National Defense Service, and Declaration of Achievement.
"I've come along ways because I was completely bed ridden, now I can do some things for myself" said Perry.