Disabled veteran receives new house from Homes For Our Troops
MEXICO, N.Y. —
Army Specialist Ryan Wilcox celebrated Saturday with the kickoff of a project aimed at building a new home for him and his family, thanks to an organization with the motto"building homes, rebuilding lives."
"I am very excited," Wilcox said.
Wilcox sustained a gunshot wound to his right leg while deployed in Iraq. He had to get that leg amputated several years later, and even getting around his home was a battle of its own.
"The stairs were a no go," he said. "The bathroom was a huge obstacle, even just getting into the shower. You know, that was... I had to hop around."
Wilcox decided to apply for the house, not thinking he would ever get it. Now, the organization Homes For Our Troops is stepping in to give him a space that will fit all of his needs.
"We think it's our country's moral obligation to provide them this home to enable them to rebuild their lives. We're just lucky enough to be the organization that the American public can donate to so we can make that happen," said Homes For Our Troops President/CEO Tom Landwermeyer.
Landwermeyer said 70 percent of their annual budget comes from donations. So far, they have built 248 homes, and they have 95 more in progress.
Wilcox just feels lucky to have been chosen.
"Everything is wide open. The doors are zero threshold doors, so even in the wheelchair, I won't have a problem getting through," Wilcox said.
His home, expected to be ready by the fall, will have lower counter tops that he can reach from his wheelchair and a more accessible shower, among other features.
"They deserve it. They deserve more than this. We can't give them enough for what they've sacrificed," Lanwermeyer said.