Getting a new home is exciting for any family, but it has been particularly emotional for a man named Jose Armenta. The Marine Corps veteran lost both his legs during a tour in Afghanistan, and now, he’s being repaid for his service thanks to actor Gary Sinise’s charity. The Gary Sinise Foundation has gifted Armenta and his family a mortgage-free home. The construction is currently underway in Bonita, California, and the family of five couldn't be more excited and thankful.
Armenta served as a canine handler alongside a dog named Zenit. In 2011, he stepped on a pressure plate full of homemade explosives during a security patrol. The corporal woke up five days later in Germany to realize both his legs from just above the knees were gone.
“If we never give up, then we’ll never lose,” he positively stated. “And if we allow it, the worst day of our life may become the most defining day.” He retired from the Marine Corps in 2013, but continued to serve working as a police dispatcher on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Looking for purpose and finding inspiration in personal finance, he became a financial advisor dedicated to helping federal employees.
Still, some things had yet to fall into place. While he had added wheelchair ramps to his home, it wasn't fully accessible. “I am especially haunted by the memory of falling with my infant son,” he confesses. Although the baby was not injured, he feared he could not properly take care of his children. “Being a husband and father is the most important thing to me.”
Now, the Gary Sinise Foundation has given him a mortgage-free smart home fully adapted to his needs. “He can have extra hallways that are very large, big kitchen, lowered, so with his prosthetics he can move around very quickly, if he needs to,” says Gib Bosworth, a vice president at the Gary Sinise Foundation. “The bathroom is very large, he’s got a bench in the shower.”
The home will be finished in November, and it’ll be the 89th one built by the foundation. To celebrate, friends and family gathered at the construction site and left inspiring messages for the family on the studs and wall panels before the installation of the drywall.
“I firmly believe that with every tragedy comes an opportunity to grow into a stronger, wiser version of yourself,” Armeta said. “I want to be a role model to my children so they, too, will work hard to overcome obstacles that come their way.”
After his iconic role as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, actor Gary Sinise started the Gary Sinise Foundation. Countless veterans are aided through his nonprofit organization.
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Just recently, a veteran named Jose Armenta, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, has been gifted a fully accessible smart home that is also mortgage-free from the foundation.
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