Sgt. Brian C. Jergens, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, may not be a Rim Country boy, but he has plenty of family here. His grandparents, Gary and Roxy, his sister, Darcy, 21, his uncle, Scott, and cousins Haydn, 15, and Adam, 14, are all residents.
That family, along with Jergens’ parents, Brian K. and Marilyn, will benefit from the September Fest being planned by members of Payson Professionals at Your Service (P.A.Y.S.).
The September Fest is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24 in front of the offices of Dan Good Flooring and Chitwood Cabinets, 810 and 812 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, across from the Best Western.
Proceeds will go to the Payson Supply Line to benefit Jergens and his family. So, the community is being asked to come out in force and show their support.
Jergens’ grandmother and grandfather have lived in Pine for eight years. They are providing a home for their granddaughter and two grandsons. The boys attended Pine Strawberry School and are now at Payson High School.
Jergens and his sister grew up in Lawton, Okla., where their father, a career Army man, was stationed at Fort Sill.
Jergens (the family calls him “Little Brian”) is 23 and has been in the Army for about four years, according to his grandmother.
He married Jann, a girl from Santa Clara, Calif. in December 2010, just before being deployed to Afghanistan in January 2011.
He came home in June for a two-week leave, then returned to Afghanistan in early July.
Riding in the last Humvee in a convoy Aug. 7, he lost his legs, below the knee, in an improvised explosive device attack, his grandmother said.
He has been at Broom Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas up until this week. On Monday, Sept. 19 he was transferred to the Poly-Trauma Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
“He has not regained consciousness yet,” Mrs. Jergens said.
In addition to losing his legs, Jergens also suffered some brain damage, but tests show it was not catastrophic.
His sister and parents were able to see him in San Antonio, but the rest of the family has not yet had a chance to see him.
The proceeds from the September Fest will help his parents with travel expenses. Depending on Jergens’ condition, other members of the family hope to go see him during the school’s fall break, which is in October, Mrs. Jergens said.
She said all of the family, including Brian’s parents, will be at the September Fest.
His parents are traveling here from Texas, where his father is in military training. They are coming to celebrate Darcy’s 21st birthday.
“We are trying to keep things as normal as we can,” Mrs. Jergens said.
She said they have found all the support wonderful, including a tribute at the rodeo. “It made me cry,” she said.
Payson P.A.Y.S. members will have products and information about their services available. There will be a beer tasting of products by the Rim Country Homebrewers and brats from Charlie’s Meats, plus games and more.
An apple pie contest is planned with first prize being a gift basket worth more than $1,000. Judging the pie contest will be Mike Vogel and Bobby Davis.