NOCATEE, Fla — A veteran injured in an IED explosion and his family received a hero's welcome Wednesday in Nocatee. They're getting a mortgage-free home as a way to say thank you for his service and sacrifice.
A golf cart escort led Army Staff Sgt. Jerry Majetich and his family to the site where their new home will soon be built in the Del Webb community. Dozens turned out for the groundbreaking ceremony, waving the stars and stripes, to show their appreciation for a veteran who has given so much.
“Oh my word! Goosebumps,” Rusty Smallwood with Building Homes for Heroes said. “I mean, the amount of people when I turned the corner was just amazing.”
Majetich was severely injured in a 2005 ambush in Iraq that left him with burns over 30% of his body and a traumatic brain injury. He has had more than 80 surgeries.
“I served my nation, the nation I love, and nothing different than, you know, hundreds of thousands of people before me," Majetich said. "I just had a bad day once."
“It’s just a weight lifted off my shoulder, both from my physical well-being in the house, because it's going to be accessible, more accessible to me, and it lifts a great deal of weight off my shoulder to make sure my wife's needs are met,” Majetich said.
He and his wife, Mary-Ella, are grateful.
“I'm overwhelmed. It's just overwhelming to everybody lining the streets when we came up and did not expect that,” Mary-Ella Majetich said. “The thing is I don't think Jerry ever feels like a hero and we feel like we are not necessarily deserving of such a huge home and a free home mortgage and it's just kind of overwhelming to take it all on it and yet it's amazing at the same time.”
The home is expected to be finished this fall.