An American hero who lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2011 was turned away from a ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Sgt. Stephen Jackel, a Purple Heart recipient, went to Six Flags with his daughter, Maya. He said he fully disclosed that he had two prosthetic legs and is a veteran.
Jackel asked about a military discount but was told he would have to go to the military base for that, which Jackel said he understood. An employee then offered him a buddy pass.
The wounded veteran said that nobody told him there would be rides that he wouldn’t be allowed to ride. Instead, he found out when he got on the “Boomerang” rollercoaster.
Jackel said an attendant told him, “Without one fully functioning leg, you are not gonna be able to ride this ride.” He was then sent to hospitality, where he said he asked for a full refund and was offered comp tickets instead.
Jackel was brought to tears over the ordeal. Maya said it was frustrating and sad to see her dad treated that way.
“We truly appreciate Sgt. Jackel’s service to our country,” Six Flags Fiesta Texas said in a statement. “We were disappointed to learn our accessibility policy was not properly communicated and we hope he and his family will accept our refund and invitation to visit the park again.”
Though he appreciates that Six Flags reached out, Jackel said, “I [and] my family will never go to Six Flags again.”
After that occurrence Jackal went on to do great things for those in the veteran community by helping raise awareness of mental illness. Jackal traveled the country speaking to veterans and giving hope to those who lost all faith and being a good friend to those who felt alone.
Sadly, the darkness that Jackal had helped so many escape from swallowed him whole and he committed suicide less than 24 hours ago. Jackal leaves behind a wife and six children who are trying to comprehend the loss of this great man who sacrificed so much for his country.
Hopefully, his family will be able to draw comfort knowing that he touched so many lives being the warrior on the battlefield and off. If you feel so inclined, This GoFundMe is approved by the family and is the only official GoFundMe for the Jackel family. https://www.gofundme.com/sgt-stephen-jackel-family-fund If you want to consider helping his family make ends meet while they make sense of this tragedy.