The Gary Sinise Foundation builds "smart homes" to help veterans regain their self-reliance
CHEVY CHASE, Md. - The Gary Sinise Foundation just completed its 52nd "smart home" for wounded veterans and their families.
Army Captain Luis Avila was injured when a roadside bomb exploded during his fifth tour in Afghanistan. He lost his leg, had two heart attacks, and suffered brain damage. He's still receiving therapy at Walter Reed National Medical Center, but now, he has a new place to call home.
Gary Sinise spoke at the dedication in Maryland.
"While we never can truly repay the debt that we owe Luis, we can strive to show him and his brothers and sisters in arms our appreciation and gratitude whenever possible," Sinise said.
The foundation was established in 2012, and each home they build features automated amenities to ease the wounded veterans' daily challenges. It is part of their R.I.S.E program, or Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment, where wounded veterans are able to regain their mobility and reclaim their self-reliance.
Captain Avila, his wife Claudia, and their three sons are extremely grateful for the opportunity to move forward with their lives.
"This home is not going to be a building. This is going to be our house, our home," said Claudia.
Coming back to the United States doesn't mean the battles are over for veterans like Captain Avila, but thanks to projects like this, they can actually feel like they've finally come home.