Serving Those Who Serve

Eric Herman Headshot
Photo of Sgt. Brian Jergens and Paolo Bendetti

On August 7, 2011, Sgt. Brian Jergens suffered severe injuries during first deployment to Afghanistan when an IED explosion hit the Humvee he was driving. As a result of the blast, he lost both of his legs below the knee, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, internal organ damage, a broken neck and damage to his right elbow. The attack occurred just one month after his wedding.

After weeks of touch-and-go recovery, he was transferred to the Palo Alto Poly Trauma Center, where he continues his rehabilitative therapies to this day, including one of his favorite activities: swimming.

In 2013, Jergens and his wife moved into their new home in Hollister, Calif., built for them pro bono by the veteran’s organization Homes For Our Troops. During the home’s construction, the Jergens met one of their new neighbors, Paolo Benedetti, president of Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa, who also happened to know Jennifer’s family from his high school days.

After learning more about the Jergens and their tale, Benedetti wanted to help by providing them with a pool to aid in the recovery process.

“I started putting feelers out to people I know and work with in the industry and everybody stepped up in a big way,” Benedetti says.

Over the past several months, Benedetti has enlisted an impressive list of mostly local pool industry professionals and companies to donate material and labor to the project. Donors include Aquamatic Pool Covers, Lightstreams Glass Tile, Zodiac Pool Systems, Pentair, Clearwater Tech and SCP among others. In addition, local IPSSA chapters pooled resources to take care of the building permits, Brian Van Bower’s firm Aquatic Consultants handled the CAD drawings and Dave Peterson of Watershape Consulting engineered the project while Benedetti handled the overall pool design.

The pool’s design is tailored to Jergens’ needs, including a raised wall to provide easy access in and out of the water and a play area for the couple’s young son. Construction began in early August.

Although Jergens still has a long way to go in his recovery, he and his wife look forward to the day when he can return to school and work towards his college degree.

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