HATTIESBURG, MISS. – A wounded Vietnam War veteran struggled for years trying to get around his own home, but thanks to renovations by Purple Heart Homes, life at home will be a little easier for Jasper Perry.
Perry, a Vietnam War veteran served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 until 1969, when an explosion changed his life forever.
“When I moved the body, the body went off,” Perry explained.
Perry tagged bodies during the Vietnam War until he suffered severe injuries from a booby-trap. Ultimately, paralyzing him and confining him to a wheelchair.
“I lost my feeling for a while,” Perry further explained. “Then things started coming back, and now I’m in a stage of shaking and not being able to stretch my fingers out.”
After four years of living inside of his home off of Marie Street, Perry quickly found out parts of his home were not wheelchair accessible.
“I couldn’t get through doors,” Perry said.
However, thanks to a partnership formed between Purple Heart Homes, R3SM, The First, National League of Cities, and Home Depot, Perry’s home received much-needed renovations.
The organizations widened Perry’s doors, raised his toilet seat, added multiple ramps on the inside and outside of the house, and even added a walk-in shower for him.
“It’s in my heart, that I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me,” Perry said.
The renovations could not come at a better time, as Perry’s wife also started using a wheelchair recently.
Currently, the City of Hattiesburg says they are working towards forming a chapter with Purple Heart Homes, which is a non-profit organization that provides housing solutions for disabled and aging veterans. The Purple Heart Homes chapter formation meeting will take place Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. inside of the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center.