A wounded Purple Heart veteran, the victim of a vicious suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, recently received the keys to a mortgage-free home featuring a Goodman® brand donated heating and air conditioning system.
U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Patrick Rogers and his family now have one less challenge to overcome – thanks to Operation Finally Home – a nonprofit that for 10 years has been providing custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen.
Goodman donated the home’s HVAC system, while an independent Goodman dealer, Damron AC & Heating in Tyler, donated the installation and setup. Local builder Carlyle Homes built the custom home for Rogers, his wife and three sons in Flint, Texas, a town just outside of Tyler.
“Veterans like Sgt. Rogers have made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” said John Summerlin, Southern Division President. “We are proud to join this outstanding effort by Operation Finally Home to help the Rogers family by contributing the HVAC system.”
The suicide attack left Rogers with multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, shoulder and knee tears, spinal injuries and loss of hearing. Rogers joined the Texas Army National Guard in 1994 right after graduating from high school. He retired from the military in 2013.
While on duty in Afghanistan on June 1, 2012, medic Rogers and other soldiers were eating in a mess hall when a suicide bomber carrying almost 2,000 pounds of explosives crashed into Forward Operating Base Salerno. The mess hall collapsed. Ignoring his own injuries, heavy fire and rocket-propelled grenades launched by attackers breaching the base, Rogers rode unprotected in the back of a truck to recover wounded soldiers and get them to the hospital. He didn’t stop tending to the wounded until finally ordered to see medics for his own, severe injuries.
Monty Damron with Damron AC & Heating installed the Goodman indoor comfort components, including an energy-efficient Goodman ASPT Series multi-position, multi-speed, ECM-based air handler and a Goodman GSX 14-SEER air conditioner.
During a ceremony to christen the Rogers’ new home, Founder of Operation Finally Home Dan Wallrath said, “When you walk through this home today, you’ll see they’re not getting just what they need, they’re getting what they deserve.”
For his part, Rogers said (as reported by Tyler television station KLTV), “I’m kind of in shock still that people do this for vets … I certainly don’t feel like I deserved it; I saw guys in combat that were a lot harder than me and did crazier stuff than me.”
But Rogers’ act that day was not unusual for the vet. After recovering enough to return to duty, he found himself under enemy fire while riding in a Blackhawk helicopter. Dangling from a wire while the Blackhawk hovered over the mountains of Afghanistan, Rogers rescued a wounded soldier before being lifted onto a two-foot ledge on the side of a cliff to help rescue two more soldiers.
For his heroism, Rogers was honored with several awards, including the Combat Medal Badge, an Air Medal with Valor Citation, and a Purple Heart.
For more information, visit www.goodmanmfg.com.