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Severely Wounded Iraq Vet To Get Escort To New LOL Home Saturday

Posted Mar 29, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated Mar 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

The roar of motorcycles will fill the air on Shasta Lane in Land O’ Lakes Saturday morning as dozens of riders are expected to accompany Jose Pequeno, severely wounded in Iraq, to his new home.

Pequeno and his family have been renting a home in Land O’ Lakes and have made attempts to purchase the home they are currently living in, but have not been able to come to terms with the owners. Then Beazer Homes, a local contractor, agreed to assist them with the purchase and building of a new home, according to Rick Karczewski of AMVETS 44 in Brandon.

Karczewski said he expects dozens of riders from AMVETS, the Patriot Guard Riders, American Legion Riders, Renegade Pigs and the Latin American Motorcycle Association will take part.

In 2006, Pequeno, then 32, was deployed in Iraq with a group of 28 NH Army Guardsmen in support of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, according to Karczewski.

On March 1st an insurgent lobbed a grenade into Pequeño’s Humvee while he was calling in a series of explosions near his observation post. Pequeno lost nearly 50 percent of his brain mass or half of his cerebellum and cognitive cortex in the attack.  He is one of the most severely wounded American servicemen to return home from either of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After being stabilized at a military hospital in Germany Jose returned to the United States. His recovery has been slow and is on-going. He suffers from TBI- Traumatic Brain Injury, a condition befalling more and more troops as the tactics of guerrilla warfare continues.

Jose has received numerous surgeries, procedures and therapies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, the Tampa Florida VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center and a veterans’ hospital in Boston.

The ride is scheduled to start Saturday, at about 9 a.m. at the Pequeno family’s old home, 3916 Sandalwood Drive, Land O’ Lakes and will head to their new home, 5295 Shasta Daisy Pl. The motorcade should arrive sometime around 9:30 a.m.

All times are approximate.

For more information, contact Karczewski at (813) 810-5001.

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