Group builds home for wounded Marine
Published: December 2, 2010
WASHINGTON -- Former Marine Sgt. Stan Roberts was overwhelmed when he found out that a nonprofit group would build a new home for him and his family. Roberts, of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., is the second combat-wounded veteran to receive a new home from North Carolina-based Operation Coming Home.
"It means a lot because, for me, it’s a little way to give back to my family for all the sacrifices they’ve made, because they’ve had to make quite a few because of my injury,” said Roberts, who was medically retired after he lost 90 percent of his right leg and had his forearm shattered by a roadside bomb blast in Iraq in 2007.
Roberts said he was touched by the outpouring of support from his community.
“It shows that the community actually does care about the veterans because you watch the news and you get mixed signals about what the country feels about why we were there,” Roberts said. “While we were building the home, there was a lot of volunteers and the community was really on board with it.”
Rich Van Tassel is chairman of the board of directors for Operation Coming Home, which is supported by the Raleigh-Wake County Home Builders Association and the Triangle Real Estate and Construction Veterans.
His group looks for veterans with ties to North Carolina who have been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan, he said. The house built for Roberts is an 1,800 square foot ranch home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. The project only cost Van Tassel’s group $5,000 – everything else was donated by companies.
“Does it take away from other things we could be working on? Sure, but would we rather work on something else? Absolutely not,” Van Tassel said.
Click here to see video of Roberts getting his home.