Jason Nielson Hero Story
In his 10th month of duty in Iraq, 27-year-old Jason Nielson was shot by a sniper and sustained a paralyzing injury. “The sniper from down the alleyway shot me. Six weeks later I woke up at Walter Reed, not really knowing where I was,” Jason said. He was injured at the third lumbar vertebra, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Jason enlisted in the Army when he was 18 years old and served as an active sergeant for five years. He later joined the Army National Guard, 860th Military Police Company and had been deployed to Iraq in November of 2004.
After his catastrophic injury, Jason received two Purple Hearts and was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard in 2006. While recuperating from his injuries, he met Darryl Johnson, a service officer (NSO) from Paralyzed Veterans of America. It was through Paralyzed Veterans that Jason found solace and the assistance he needed to begin his life again.
Darryl helped him with the paperwork and procedures that would ensure he received his VA benefits and also introduced Jason to Sheretta Latham, another NSO. “Sheretta worked hand in hand with my wife and took care of everything for me so that I could focus on my recovery,” he recalls. “I can call Sharetta at 11 o’clock at night and she will answer the phone and say, ‘What can I do for you Jason?’ ”
Those experiences with Paralyzed Veterans of America convinced Jason to get even more involved with the organization. In addition to becoming active in Paralyzed Veterans sponsored outdoor sporting events, such as fishing and hunting, Jason helps to spread the word about the work Paralyzed Veterans does through its public service announcements.
“If there was no PVA, I would not have the benefits that I have,” Jason says.
Originally from Phoenix, Jason now resides in Lincoln, Delaware.
Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is the only veterans service organization that represents servicemen and women who are paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injury or disease. Paralyzed Veterans is a nonprofit organization and is financed solely through donations from generous and caring Americans. To learn how you can help our paralyzed veterans, visit www.pva.org.