Get to know U.S. Army Sgt. Jackie Irving and hear his story firsthand.
[MUSIC] So, this is our platoon right here, third platoon, young guns. That's Mo Chevy, our Lieutenant right here, Madoon. Cool cats, man, real good guys. That was like one of the best Hardcore LT's i've ever had. I always been that type of person I always wanted to be out there in law enforcement of join a military so in highschool we seen it on the TV the twin towers. Right then when that happened man it was like nothing could change my mind i was like This is what I want. This is where I need to be. That's why I joined the military. [MUSIC] Deployments, oh man I was awesome. We were first real combat mission called for fire in [UNKNOWN] Iraq. Afghanistan was a whole nother. Place for me. We get martyred all the time. I've been shot at from the rear. It was kind of scary. I was scared to the point because not that you were going to get hurt, it's that your kids or your family are going to have to go on without you. So we went out, went out on foot. So possibly it was Afghan insurgents nearby. I took my section through. I called up on the radio there's some military aged males running from us. I seen some disturbance on the ground and when I seen that we came up under fire. I remember just really turning around. I would tell my guys get the F back. That's when I woke up in San Antonio. [NOISE] That explosion was me. That big explosion right there, that was That was my explosion here. We were out here in the apple orchards once that mission where the insurgence was supposed to be at, we were going at giving the fight the were looking for. [MUSIC] My vest was blow in pieces off me, my weapon was in pieces, My helmet was just like a sponge. They said they literally squeezing it in the hand. I took the full blast. One of my soldiers were here just recently, he told me EOD said it was almost 200 pounds. It was pretty rare man, yeah. Yeah. [SOUND] I just sat in a parking lot for maybe 10-20 minutes, just crying Cause I didn't know what is that. One phone call said he was dead, and one phone call was like, no, he's not. Wake up. You know, I die six times. First one calls you God I was scared, I already been dead for many My buddy knows. He like, man I killed [UNKNOWN]. [UNKNOWN] man. And he was just wearing my face out. Just, I mean whaling me. And I just started coming back. There was one time that they just said, hey Ashley. Just stop. And they were like, he's gone man, and They say I just took another deep breath [NOISE] and just came back. [NOISE] I have a TBI, I have shrapnel on the brain, I have [UNKNOWN], I have shrapnel all over my body, man. [BLANK_AUDIO] Holes in my back. Back. While the memory loss. I had to learn how to walk again. He can still can hear out his left ear. They removed a muscle from his back side and put on his arm right here. And he have nerve damage. He only can move [MUSIC] Two of his fingers, the index and thumb finger on his left arm. Honestly, it went down from there. Life started getting hard. Mentally and physically stressful, PTSD, everything started piling up. I'm still working on that now. I have a problem Trusting people, but I'm always willing to help people, it makes you feel like you not the man you used to be, even though you know you're not, that's a big [UNKNOWN] it really is. I've been here [SOUND], I wondered if it was hell, but hell better be scared than me because I don't Being there. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] My family, they was there. My sister Penny, my mom Linda, my dad, Jackie, my sister, Jackay, my brother Willy. My wife definitely was there. She stayed there. My kids, I had soldiers come from Alaska that I trained in Alaska. I had some of my soldiers that was over there when it happened. They made sure while they was on mid tour leave to stop through there and checked on me. [MUSIC] [UNKNOWN] my kids Kids to see that their dad has given up. So I fought. Before you know it man, I was out of there. [MUSIC] When we went to the radio station I thought maybe it was just like another thing, they just wanna hear your story. A lot of things were coming and that's it, and I know something's different. They were starting talking and everything, we got a Need everybody and that's when he came up and said Operation Find a Home want to build you guys a home. I was like, come on man, stop joking. Don't play with me like that, you know? And come to find out it was real. I just wanted to cry because That was a big relief of trying to find a home. That was enough to really send anybody into tears. Like I told, I wasn't gonna cry. These are the words I said, I wasn't gonna cry. I'm a soldier, I cry on the inside. [LAUGH] But man I was happy, I was happy. The kids was happy about it. And I didn't care how long we had to wait. It was something from God, it was given to us. [MUSIC] I really met some awesome people during the treatment. But then when it became my home, then that family we ran into was Operation Finally Home. [MUSIC]