Local Story Inspiring Soldiers Overseas

January 11, 2006
Over four years ago a young boy’s life changed after he fell into a mop bucket at a day care. Later, after a fight from his mother, Georgia law changed requiring day cares to notify parents if they are not insured. News 12 shows you how US soldiers overseas are getting new inspiration through his family’s story.

For the first time Jackie Boatwright is meeting Sgt. Ian Ketterer. But he already knows lots about her and her son Juan. It was in Iraq when Sgt. Ketterer got an email telling him about Juan’s story. Jackie wrote about it, telling about her journey through her son’s injury and keeping faith through it all.

“I read it, the chaplan read it, a few other people and everyone that read it said they were encouraged by it,” Sgt. Ketterer said.

A story of perseverance, hitting home for soldiers overseas. Jackie couldn’t believe it.

“I really was at a loss for words at first. I was like, yeah right. You got my book and you’re where?” Jackie said.

But the pictures prove it. And for Sgt. Ketterer, there’s no denying he’s been touched.

“It’s like an instant love and you’re instantly pulling for him to come though,” Sgt. Ketterer said.

Even though bound by tubes from his tracheotomy, Jackie says Juan is making progress through help from God and through others spreading the message of faith.

“It’s my goal/desire to send as many copies as I can afford over there. It’s our way of saying thank you,” Jackie said.

As the pages continue to flip in Iraq, Sgt. Ketterer knows more soldiers will gain strength from this book, something he already sees in Juan.

“So I’m pretty confident if the Lord can keep me and bring me back, he’ll do the same for you,” Sgt. Ketterer said.

Part II of Juan’s story will be available in March. Jackie’s book has even reached South Africa and her fight to pass Juan’s law is now carrying over into other states like Virginia.

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