2012 Honored Veteran

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Corporal Manny Jimenez, USMC

The Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open is proud and privileged to honor U.S. Marine Corporal Manny Jimenez.

 

Cpl. Jimenez was a 17-year-old attending New Britain High School when he decided to serve his country. As a committed member of the school's Junior ROTC program under the direction of Lt. Col. Mark Durfee, Manny was determined to enter the military and did just that following graduation in 2007.

 
He considered his options before deciding on the United States Marine Corps.
 
"There was nothing fancy," says Manny. "They didn't offer me a bonus.
 
"I did it for the love of it."
 
On August 1, 2010 Cpl. Jimenez and his squad were conducting a routine foot patrol when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated. As a result of the explosion, Jimenez lost his left arm, hearing in his left ear and partial sight in his left eye.
 
But he didn't lose his indomitable spirt and resolve to live a rich, productive and rewarding life.
 
Cpl. Jimenez spent time in a hospital in Germany before being transferred back to the U.S. and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. There, he endured an intense rehabilitation regimen which continues today.
 
While Manny recovered and rehabilitated, Connecticut volunteers sprang into action. Purple Heart Homes, Inc., (a Golden Kielbasa beneficiary) with the support of the Town of Glastonbury, Glastonbury Rotary Club, the business community and thousands of local volunteers, began building Manny a barrier-free home on Addison Road in Glastonbury - appropriately enough, on the site of a former Marine Corps League building which had burned down in 2006.
 
The home is completely furnished and accessorized, and includes a refrigerator supplied with food, dishes, silverware, linens - even spices in the spice rack.
 
"Manny won't need a thing," says Purple Heart Homes spokesperson Vicki Thomas. "He will live his new life as a retired marine, go to school and be an active member of the community, doing good things to make a difference in the lives of others – a role he has wholeheartedly embraced.”
 
Says an appreciative and humbled Manny, "Everyone has wanted to be a part of it (the project). It's been very different from what's portrayed in the media for returning veterans.
 
"Here, whatever you need, people are there for you."
 
A fomer New Britain High School football player, wrestler and member of the cross country team, Manny is a dedicated marathon runner and prospect for the U.S. Paralympics Team. He will attend Central Connecticut State University in the fall where he will major in Physical Education.
 

Cpl. Jimenez' personal military awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action and Navy Achievement Medal. He is single and spends quality time with his mother, brothers and sisters all in the New Britain area.

 

Read about Manny in Glastonbury LIFE

 

Read about Manny in The New York Times