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Redskins Honor Quadriplegic Veteran At New Home

Posted Sep 29, 2014

The Washington Redskins on Monday gave Jay Briseno Jr. – a veteran who was severely injured in Iraq – a signed jersey at the unveiling of his new home in Manassas, Va.

Jay Briseno Jr. grew up in Manassas Park, Va., a gifted two-sport high school athlete in track and field and football and was a strong supporter of the Washington Redskins.

After high school, Briseno Jr. decided to join the U.S. Army as a Civil Affairs Officer as a way to help pay for his college tuition at George Mason University.

During his first year at George Mason, Briseno Jr. was called into active duty to support Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

In June 2003, Briseno Jr. was shot in the back of his neck by an Iraqi by-stander. The bullet would sever his spine and cause two cases of cardiac arrest. As a result of the shot, he is also blind, paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak or swallow.

Briseno Jr. returned home to be watched after by family 24-hours a day. While the care of his family has helped him get through days, the house in which they were living in simply couldn’t meet his needs.

On Tuesday, the Briseno family was honored with a new home through Helping A Hero that includes wide floor plans, a roll-in shower, a lift system and a therapy room.

At the unveiling of the new house, Redskins fullback Darrel Young, 80 Greatest Redskin Ed Simmons and the First Ladies of Football were on hand to give Briseno Jr. an autographed Joe Theismann jersey.

Young was honored to represent the organization.

“What a tremendous opportunity it is to come up and speak,” he said. “It is my day off and Tuesday’s usually our community day, but when I heard about this I said, ‘You know what, this is some special to me.’

“My brother’s been serving for 16 years in the United States Army. He’s done five tours over in Afghanistan, his wife has been over there as well, so I know what it’s like to be away from family, not knowing what they’re going through the next day, so when I heard about this opportunity, I had to jump on it.”

Knowing the sacrifices all service members make to ensure the country remains a safe place, Young presented Briseno Jr. with the signed jersey.

Placing the jersey over a Redskins blanket that was covering Briseno Jr.’s legs, Young said the gift was simply a way of saying thank you.

“What you do is what everyone does in the military -- make us safe. We can’t be worrying about the new iPhone and stuff like that when people are putting their lives on the line.

“This is just to say thank you for everything that he’s done and we love you and we thank you.”

After, Briseno’s father thanked the Redskins for their gift to his son.

“Thank you Washington Redskins,” he said. “We’ve been with the Redskins since day one.”

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