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U.S. Marine Sgt. Jacob “Jake” Churchwell was born in Lubbock and raised in Edmonson, Texas, where he learned to hunt and ride horses. At 17 years old, he graduated early from High School and joined the Marines in March of 2007, flying on a plane for the first time on his way to San Diego (Calif.) to Marine Corp Recruit Depot.
After his infantry tactics training, Jake deployed to Afghanistan, and served as a gunner. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Jake reenlisted and changed his military operational specialty to an airborne and air delivery specialist. He was stationed at 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion aboard Camp Lejeune as a parachute rigger. Jake received High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute training and completed his jump master training at Fort Benning, Ga.
In addition to the Combat Action Ribbon, Jake was also recognized with multiple awards, including the Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, plus more.
Jake returned home in October of 2014 and in 2015, he was accepted as a recruit at the Midland Police Department and was part of the 96th session at the Permian Basin Law Enforcement Academy, finishing his training in May of 2016.
Six months later, Jake flipped his vehicle in a pursuit, fractured two vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down. He spent three months at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo., learning how to accomplish day-to-day tasks without the use of his legs and minimal use of his arms and hands.
Jake continues to make the best of every day taking full advantage of the life he has now. He continues to progress through physical therapy, but relies on assistance from his wife, Shannon, who is his primary caregiver. Jake and Shannon are parents to three daughters.
Operation FINALLY HOME, in partnership with Permian Homes and the Permian Basin Builders Association, is honored to present the Churchwell family with a custom-built, mortgage-free home in Midland, Texas.