Homes For Our Troops Presents Wounded Veteran With New Home

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United States Army veteran Jason Gibson will be home for Christmas.

Not just any home, but a brand-new, mortgage-free home designed to accommodate his needs.  The retired staff sergeant lost both his legs and his left index finger to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2012.

"We stopped for something and I knelt down right on top of one," Gibson told 10TV Saturday, moments after receiving the keys to the house specially built for him in Marysville.  He'll move in with his wife, Kara, and newborn daughter, Quinn, right away, from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where standard issue-style housing has proved a challenge and a worry.

"I don't want to be alone in the house with my daughter because I'm too worried about either falling or hitting the wall or something, if I'm holding her," he explained about his Wright-Patterson environs.

The family's new home is a result of many donations of labor and material, coordinated by "Homes For Our Troops," a charity dedicated to providing homes customized to ease the lives of wounded veterans.

As Gibson explains, the halls and doorways of his new home are wider than those in a typical home, allowing easier mobility for him and his wheelchair. But that's not all.

"The oven is built higher up so I can use it safely. There's little features here and there, which makes my life easier, probably more independent and safer," he said.

The new Gibson household is the 177th provided by "Homes For Our Troops" since the Massachusetts-based organization started in 2004.

"Homes For Our Troops" doesn't view ourselves as a charity because what we do isn't charity," executive director Bill Ivey told the crowd of onlookers and well-wishers. "What we are is a vehicle that allows the American people to repay a debt that we owe to these veterans that have been severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We've got guys who got pretty banged-up defending our freedom and independence," he continued, "and because of that, lost some of their freedom and independence."

Gibson's injury came May 30, 2012, two days before his 26th birthday. He was serving his third tour of active duty overseas as a combat engineer, working with three others to clear roadways of explosives.  The blast obviously changed Gibson's life, but it failed to take away his smile, most conspicuous as he looks ahead to what his new digs will allow him to do.

"(I'll) help my wife out from taking part in more chores, I guess!," he told 10TV with a hearty laugh.

But his voice returns to a more solemn tone as he acknowledges the outpouring for him and other veterans.

"Seeing this, this is something else. This is, I mean, people actually, truly support that, and it means a lot seeing everyone here today… This is kind of like the milestone to where all that is now behind me, and we're able to fully move on, go on with our lives."

For information about "Homes For Our Troops," visit www.hfotusa.org <http://www.hfotusa.org>.