When Jerral Hancock came home from the Iraq war missing one arm, with another that barely worked and a paralyzed body that was burned all over, he was a hero to this Mojave Desert town that wears its military pride on its sleeve.

Soon he was being called upon to use his one remaining hand to cut ribbons and wave to people during parades. Then, after everyone had gone home, Hancock would too. That’s where he would be forgotten by all but his two young children and his parents.

That was until the students in Jamie Goodreau’s U.S. history classes learned how Hancock had once gotten stuck in his modest mobile home for half a year — “like being in prison,” he recalls — when his handicapped-accessible van broke down. Or how the hallways of his tiny house were so narrow he couldn’t get his wheelchair through most of them. Read more . . .

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