A home for a soldier - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

A home for a soldier

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By Bert Case - bio | email

A 23-year-old U.S. soldier, who lost both legs above the knee in Iraq, is having a brand new house built for him at the Pike-Amite County line in south Mississippi. 

Homes For Our Troops, a national organization, based in Massachusetts, is building the house, using local volunteers, and it will not cost retired Army Specialist Joshua Wells a penny.  He says words cannot tell, how grateful he is.  He walks, very well on computer controlled prosthetic legs and talks openly about his injury, without emotion. 

The home's first wall of the 2400 square foot home came up Thursday and by the end of the weekend, it will have a roof and siding, so the inside work can be done out of the weather. They hope to finish it in 8 weeks.  He likes for people to know that his legs were made by Hanger Prosthetics in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Joshua Wells will live here in a home especially equipped for him. He lost both legs, above the knee in Iraq, as he was driving a Stryker armored vehicle, which hit four explosively formed penetrators, knows as EFP's. He was in the 32nd SCR Stryker armored unit out of Vilseck Germany.

He walks amazingly well on prosthetic legs he has been using since July of 2009 and is deeply grateful for the home.

"I came back home two weeks later, and I haven't sat in a wheel chair since July 27th of 2009. I can't say thank you enough," Wells said.

Wells is comfortable talking about his injury and how he first realized what had happened to him.

"At first I did a pat down to make sure I was ok. And when I got to my legs I had actually grabbed both of my femurs. When my VC, the guy that pulled me out of my vehicle, my vehicle commander, pulled me out of the hole. It was then that, when I came out of the hole, that I realized I had amputations," Wells explained.

Larry Gill is the veteran liaison for homes for our troops.

"By the end of this weekend we will have completed the equivalent of six weeks worth of work," Gill said.

We told Wells we didn't want to stress him out making him walk around in his new house. He said we weren't and the only stress he felt was that they were not letting him work on the house.

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