Building Homes for Heroes®
USMC Corporal Jeremy Kelley
USMC Corporal Jeremy Kelley was deployed to Iraq twice from 2005 to 2007. Like most of the men and women fighting overseas, he had numerous brushes with death. While Corporal Kelley was fortunate to not have suffered serious physical injuries, he's afflicted with serious invisible scars, namely post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought PTSD among military personnel to the attention of the American people as never before. Blast waves from explosions rattle the brain and can cause traumatic brain injuries which are often linked to PTSD. Most PTSD sufferers repeatedly relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. While the condition varies from person to person, more and more studies have linked PTSD with chronic depression and suicidal ideation.
Corporal Kelley and family are now fighting an extremely serious battle. Kelley's daughter Katelynn was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor of the eyes (retina), just days after her first birthday. The condition forms cancerous tumors in the eyeballs. Katelynn is currently undergoing laser therapy, high-powered light to destroy the tumors, and chemotherapy. If the treatment is unsuccessful, there's the strong possibility that the young girl would undergo enucleation, surgical removal of the eyeballs.
Corporal Kelley, who earned the Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (3), Sea Service Ribbon (2), and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal , believes a home for his family would create a solid foundation for his family of four, and help them realize a better future.
The Kelley family received a home in Kissimmee, Florida.