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Last month, Marine Corps Sgt. Stan Roberts — who was severely wounded in 2007 when an improvised exploding device (IED) blast tore through his amphibious assault vehicle while on patrol in Iraq — was given a brand new home through Operation: Coming Home, a joint volunteer effort led by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County and the Triangle Real Estate and Construction Veterans (TREACV) to build and donate homes for disabled combat veterans in North Carolina.
During the Nov. 4 celebration, Hero Home Finale, Sgt. Roberts was handed the keys to his new, handicap-accessible 1,800-square-foot ranch-style home by Sgt. Daniel Kim, the Marine corpsman who saved his life after the blast.
HBA member Royal Oaks Building Group, LLC, built the home in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., on land donated by developer Gaines and Company. Additional HBA members, sponsors and volunteers donated materials and labor for the home, which features handicap-accessible doorways and bathrooms, low-profile thresholds, adjustable storage spaces — and a special Marine Corps man-cave.
Sgt. Roberts was on his third tour of duty in Iraq when his vehicle was attacked. He lost his right leg and suffered traumatic brain injury as well as injuries to his right arm in the blast. He spent two years of intensive therapy at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Md., recovering from his wounds before finally returning to the cramped apartment in Cary, N.C., that he shared with his wife and four young children.
That is until the volunteers of Operation: Coming Home built him a new home.
More than 400 people attended the home’s dedication, including representatives of Disabled American Veterans (DAV); National Association of Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Club (NABSTMC); U.S. Veterans Corps; the Fuquay-Varina police, fire and utilities departments; servicemen from Camp Lejeune; the 2d Marine Division Band; the N.C. State dance team; the Carolina Hurricanes mascot Stormy and the Storm Squad; and local schoolchildren.
Appreciation for Sgt. Roberts’ service didn’t end there, however. Neighbors, a local school, military groups and various organizations also overwhelmed the Roberts family with gifts for their new home including a stainless steel Weber propane grill, a washer and dryer, bedroom furniture, a security system, a fully stocked kitchen and — for Sgt. Roberts’ Marine Corps man-cave — a set of USMC painted lockers, custom flooring and a display cabinet for his uniform.
In addition, a story about Sgt. Roberts and Operation: Coming Home, “Volunteers Build Homes for Wounded Vets,” appeared in Aol Real Estate and on the home page of Aol.com on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.
In the Aol story, Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Raleigh-Wake County HBA, explained some of the builders’ motivation behind building and donating the house to the Roberts family.
We figured, build a house for a disabled veteran and give it to them free and clear — a reasonable home they can afford the taxes on," Minton said in the article. "They are adjusting back to civilian life. And don't have to worry about where they are going to live or make their home," he said.
To read the Aol story, click here.
NAHB also has posted a video that the Raleigh-Wake County HBA created about Sgt. Roberts and the event. To view the video on NAHB’s YouTube channel, click here.
For more information, e-mail Gwyn Donohue at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.