SGT Gerald Joseph Esposito*, USA
Gerald grew up playing football and lacrosse on Long Island, and has always shown an interest in service. He was involved in Civil Air Patrol in High School, and joined the Volunteer Fire Department where he won a Community Service Award for pulling an elderly person out of Great South Bay. Growing up, Gerald was also surrounded by those in military service. His grandfather was in the army, his father spent 22 years in the Army, he has two uncles in the Navy and one in the Air Force. His current wife, Elaine, is also a veteran who lost her right leg while state-side during service. She has taken time off of school to care for Gerald.
When Gerald first joined the Army, he earned his Paramedic Certificate and spent a year in Korea. In January 2007, Gerald was in the shower cleaning up before he went out on a mission in Iraq. During that time, a mortar blast went off. Thankfully, he does not remember the blast or the events of the day, but does remember waking three days later. Gerald now has complex partial seizures, one of which caused him to fall ten feet and break his foot. Furthermore, there is penetrating shrapnel in his right eye and damage to the left. These injuries mean he can only read for about 30-45 minutes until eye fatigue sets in, which is devastating to one as avid a reader as Gerald.
Gerald needs a house accessible for him, as well as Elaine who just recently learned to walk with a prosthetic. He looks forward to being in a home where he is able to interact with his three children, Joey, Gerry, and Franny. He hopes that he can eventually finish his history degree.