A local Marine veteran and his family got the keys to new home thanks to Homes For Our Troops. The organization held a ceremony to honor Marine Ssgt. Jack Pierce for his service and present the keys.
Ssgt. Pierce and his family were escorted to their home by Bell County police, military and the Patriot Guard. Soldiers, family and friends lined the streets holding American flags.
U.S. Representative John Carter also attended the event. He spoke to the crowed about how important the organization is.
"This is not a government program. This is a people program. This is about people helping people," said Carter.
Homes For Our Troops was founded by civilians. The organization is dedicated to building new homes for wounded vets.
Ssgt. Pierce was paralyzed three years ago during his third tour in Afghanistan. The vehicle he was riding in was drove over an I.E.D. Since then, Pierce has been in and out of hospitals across the country for rehab.
While in a California hospital, Pierce reached out to Homes For Our Troops for help. He knew he would need a home that was wheelchair accessible.
After a short ceremony the crowd gathered around to watch Pierce cut the ribbon and tour his new home with his wife and son for the first time.
"This home it means a lot to us. Number one, I can access everything. I can get to the cabinets, I can get to the sink, I can utilize the stove without burning my arms or my hands," said Pierce.
The house contained other special features like push buttons to open the doors, lower counters and wheelchair accessible shower.
Pierce's wife Karen says they can't thank the Home For Our Troops enough.
"Ever since he's gotten hurt it's been really hard for him just to maneuver in most places. And we've had to live temporarily here or there ever since he got hurt and for the first time he's almost fully independent," said Mrs. Pierce.
Ssgt. Pierce went on to say how much this home will change his life.
"This house definitely makes me feel more independent. I can go out and do things on my own and not have to rely on other people. Everything is all one level, so I can get to everything around the house with no problems. So this is going to make living life a lot easier," said Pierce.
Morgan Point Resort Mayor Pro-Tem, Ken Steger, gave Pierce the key to the city and declared February 9th, 2013 Marine Ssgt. Jack Pierce Day.
"I don't think there's anywhere I've experienced such a welcome being a military family as I have Texas. Everywhere you looks there's signs we support our troops, we want to give back to our service members. And you just don't see that generosity for them in many other places like Texas."
The couple said they appreciate all the support and look forward to watching their son grow up in their new neighborhood.
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