Veterans pool funds for local amputee

Hollister resident and Army Medic-Sergeant Brian Jergens stands with his wife Jennifer and their son Jackson, 19 months, in their backyard where they hope a pool will soon be built. The community is coming together through fundme.com to raise $30K for a s

Hollister veteran Brian Jergens will be getting a swimming pool he can use for exercise and physical therapy, thanks to a little community love.
Since last week, five local veterans groups stepped forward to offer about $15,000 in funds toward installing the man-made lagoon in the Jergens’ backyard.
“That’s we do,” said Joe Love, the commander of theAmerican Legion Post 69. “We’re a veterans group and we do fundraisers to help veterans out.”
Jergens, 26, is an Army medic sergeant who returned home from deployment in Afghanistan without legs below the knee. Currently, Jergens uses a pool 90 minutes away for therapy and cardio but the community is rallying to install one in his backyard.
“We’re there to make sure that it gets put in,” Love said.
Swimming pool contractor Paul Benedetti spearheaded the project and got donations for everything from base rock to an automatic pool cover but when a key donor backed out, he stammered to foot the bill for $30,000 worth of concrete, pipes, drainage and landscaping.
That’s when the local groups stepped in with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242 and the American Legion Post 69 each pledging $5,000 while the Sons of the American Legion, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242 and the American Legion Riders promised $500 each.
Two veterans groups—American Legion Post 69 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242—also staged a clean-up Monday for the family’s backyard, which Jergens’ wife, Jennifer, called a “jungle” because it was overrun with weeds and grass.
While the veterans groups have pledged money, the exact amount they’ll deliver will depend on the donations received by March 14, the day before the project’s permit expires. In the last few weeks, companies have stepped forward with about $20,000 in donations and the crowd-funding website Fundme.com has led to several thousand more, Love said. To contribute to crowd-funding for the Jergens’ swimming pool, go to fundme.com/en/projects/15656-Build-Sgt–Brian-Jergens-a-Pool.

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