001 // our projects
U.S. Army Specialist Jesse Frewerd
U.S. Army Specialist Jesse Frewerd of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enlisted in the U.S. Army before he graduated from high school. Just 18 years old and fueled by a desire to serve his country after the events of 9/11, Frewerd began his military career as a cavalry scout. In 2003, Frewerd and his unit were deployed to Iraq, where he served on active duty for more than a year.
While on a routine mounted patrol during his deployment, Frewerd and members of his unit were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated beneath their vehicle. The blast lifted the vehicle off the ground, shattered the windshield and popped the tires. Although the IED did not cause any fatalities, Frewerd, who was manning the gun, hit his head, suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and perforating his ear drum. Shaken and injured, Frewerd and his team still managed to apprehend two suspects before leaving the area.
Frewerd participated in many raids while deployed, helping to recover weapons and other contraband items while also completing more than 200 escorts. During this time, Frewerd identified several IEDs before they were detonated, ensuring the safety of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Iraq’s transitional government.
As a result of his service, Frewerd suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He also lives with the effects of TBI, which includes migraines, as well as the pain and discomfort caused by injuries to his spine and back. He was honorably discharged in 2005.
Frewerd has been honored with several awards in recognition of his service. These include two Army Commendation Medals, an Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.
Jesse and his wife, Katie, are proud parents of their son. Jesse also has a college-age daughter. Jesse and Katie are continuing their education: Jesse attends school for music where he hopes to become a worship leader at a local church; Katie, previously a small business owner, is going to school for accounting. Jesse currently works as a claims officer with the Wisconsin Dept. of Veteran Affairs, helping fellow veterans access disability compensation. As part of his own personal healing, Jesse continues to volunteer with several veteran organizations, such as Guitars for Vets. As a singer-songwriter, Jesse also finds hope and healing in music. He and Katie, also a musician, often write and perform together.
Operation Finally Home is proud to partner with Belman Homes in providing U.S. Army Specialist Jesse Frewerd and his family with a mortgage-free home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.