ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Flag-lined streets and a hero's welcome greeted Army Staff Sgt. Jerry Majetich and his wife Mary-Ella Thursday.
They were given a brand new mortgage-free home in Nocatee's Del Webb community this Veterans Day thanks to Pulte Group’s Built to Honor Program and Building Homes for Heroes.
“I cannot tell you the relief that I have knowing that I'm never going to have to look for another contractor or find myself googling for a handicap accessible home while watching him recover. Because you, our fellow Americans, have taken care of that,” Mary-Ella Majetich said. “We are honored and we are humbled. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Jerry Majetich served nearly two decades in the military, first in the Marines, then the Army before his vehicle was hit by an IED in 2005, and he was shot four times. More than 80 surgeries later, as he and his wife stepped into their new home, the excitement was mixed with so much relief.
“I've had a lot of surgeries, and I'll have probably more for the rest of my life. And a lot of them make me incapable of walking or climbing into a tub. And I've told her for years that I'm going to die getting into the bathtub. And now we don't have to worry about that anymore,” Jerry Majetich said. “We were having to get hotel rooms after surgeries because there wasn't a handicap accessible bathroom, and it's just going to change our life.”
From a massage room to help him heal to a pool where he can relax and do water therapy, building this house was a labor of love.
“Just an awesome day. It's been a year-long journey for us with Jerry and Mary-Ella. And it was just so exciting for them to finally get a chance to see the end product,” Tony Nason with Pulte Group said. “We've gone through months and months of design, and really our goal was to make this a home that fit all their needs.”
It’s a home designed for a humble hero, in a community honored to have him and his wife as neighbors.
“Just the fact that everybody got together and did this for us, and sacrificed for us so that, you know, things can lighten the burden a little bit for what we go through,” Mary-Ella Majetich said.
“Many times today people thanked me for my sacrifice, and I think it's important to note I didn't sacrifice anything,” Jerry Majetich said. “This nation has given me everything. I just served the nation I love and would die for.”