kansas patriot guard, kansas patriot guard, kansas patriot guard


Mission Alerts

Mission Statement

Photo Galleries


Mission History

Join Our Mission

Special Projects and Events

Contact  US






Veterans Hardship Fund Helps Jones Family

SGT John D. Jones

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Riders, I would like to share this experience with you.  As was advised to the Kansas ALR Chapters, earmark a fund for situations just like this one.  I have never been more proud to be part of the Legion Family as I was that day.  Laura had many stories to tell of the families plight and I wish it could all be written.  I hope you understand how important this "Mission" is, she  Thanked YOU over and over.
"God Bless the Jones Family" and "Thanks For What You Do"
Cregg (Bronco 6)
While not an official ‘Hero’s to Hometown’ case generated from the American Legion, what follows is a heart-tugging story of how American Legion Post 136 was prepared and able to assist a wounded veterans family in a moments notice.  It is a tribute to all veterans and veteran supporters of our Post.

On Monday afternoon, 26 March, a call was received at our Post home, informing us of a critical need from Laura Jones of Derby, Ks.  Laura is the wife of Sgt. John D. Jones who was critically wounded in Iraq.

Sgt. Jones was assigned to the 161st Field Artillery.  If this sounds familiar, it is because the Patriot Guard escorted his best friend, Ssgt. David Berry, on his path to God on 3 March.  His driver in the Humvee that day, was Sgt. Jones.  They were assigned to the Rapid Response Team of C Company.   On this particular day, they volunteered to assist B Company.  The camp they were assigned to, had sky based tracking balloons, which can track the trajectory of mortar fire and send coordinates to the Rapid Response Team.  The camp came under mortar fire and Ssgt. Berry, with Sgt. Jones, Sgt. Ricker and Sgt. Peter Hays responded.  When they arrived at the firing location, three pre-planted IED’s, were detonated.   The first one missed.  The second one, killed Ssgt. Berry, took the right leg from Sgt. Ricker, removed the jaw from Sgt. Hays, and  the right side of Sgt. Jones’s skull was torn away, and he had shrapnel and burn wounds to his arm and back. The insurgents purposely set them up.

Sgt. Jones was not expected to live, but was stabilized enough to be evacuated to Germany and on to Bethesda Naval Hospital.  Laura arrived and was told he may not last the night.  He did, and his prognosis is improving.  He was recently transferred to the Poly Trauma Rehab Center in Tampa where he will remain for the next 6-9 months.  He still has to return to Bethesda to have a plate installed, and return again to Tampa for more rehab.  He has lost 80% or his hearing and part of his brain has been removed.
On 28 March, Cregg Hansen, my wife, and I had the honor of meeting with Laura Jones, and two of her children.  She is going to leave her children in the care of her family in Arkansas, and move to Tampa to be with her husband.  She was in desperate need of help.  Members of the 161st have volunteered to assist in storing her household goods and help her move.  Post 136, with less than two days to react, was able to hand her $500 ( 250.00 from Post 136 / $250.00 from ALR 136 )cash and two phone cards totaling 1200 minutes to help her keep in touch with her children.  This money was available because two meetings ago, a ‘Veterans Hardship’ fund was started.  It was funded by donations and money from the general fund.  At the same time, the Post Legion Riders started their own fund.  When we needed the money fast, a phone call to Jim Jones, ALR Director, was all it took to have half the money and the phone cards available.  The rest of the money came out of the Post hardship account.  Laura is now on her way to Tampa.  Despite all the pressure she was under, all the grief she suffered due to her injured husband, when she heard our son was serving in Baghdad, she cried.   She was still thinking of others.
We are taking steps to keep this fund financed and will accept donations.  Nothing we do can be more important.

Commander-Post 136