April 28, 2019 – Day 4
Today, Carry the Load began it’s East Coast route in Boston by celebrating the life and service of Stephen Jackel.
Sgt Jackel joined the military in 2008 and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, receiving a Purple Heart and earning a Presidential Valorous Unit Award. On Aug. 23, 2011, Jackel and his team were injured when their RG-31 ran over an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Jackel was knocked out, and would suffer a brain injury from the blast, in addition to both of his legs needing to be amputated below the knee and several injuries from shrapnel.
When Jackel came to, he realized he and his unit was trapped in the burning vehicle. Using his own shattered legs, Jackel beat back the flames around him and cleared a path to get out of the vehicle, then helped the rest of his team escape. He would be medically retired from the military in 2013. With two prosthetic legs, he continued to skydive, rappel and climb mountains.
He is survived by his wife Adrianna and their six children. Stephen had many monikers such as, “The Motivator”, “Footless Freedom Eagle”, but to most, he was affectionately known as simply “Jackel”. Jackel was widely known for his powerful hugs and his larger than life personality. To know Jackel was to love him.
Social Media from the National Relay
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