FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Eric Myers faces a long journey home.
The Fort Bragg staff sergeant will require extended therapy and rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington after being injured in Afghanistan. His family's home in Fayetteville faces extensive rehabilitation, as well.
"Until the home has been adapted for his needs, Walter Reed won't allow him to come home," said family friend Jennifer Humphrey. "His wife, Laura, is up there with him.
"It's going to be a long process for him to be able to get home for good. But they won't allow him to come home until his house is handicap ready."
Myers was seriously injured in May, during his third deployment to Afghanistan. A roadside bomb took both of the Florida native's legs. After months of recuperation at Walter Reed, he is now well enough to visit friends, but the cost of retrofitting the couple's home far exceeds the amount allocated.
The entire home needs to be revamped," Humphrey said. "Kitchen counters need to be adjusted, and the bathrooms and showers must be made wheelchair accessible."
Humphrey said after traveling to Washington to visit the couple, she and her sister were discussing how they could help.
"Eric and Laura are such wonderful people, and he's a true American hero. He was like the class clown. He'd always find a way to make you smile, and Laura is a third-grade teacher at Long Hill Elementary.
"You know how people always say, 'If there's anything we can do to help, let us know?' Well, this is one of those situations."
Their solution: a barbecue fundraiser. On Friday, beginning at 3 p.m., friends and family will host a combination supper, silent auction and bake sale on the playground of Long Hill Elementary School.
Activities include a corn hole tournament, face painting and a 50-50 raffle.
"We'll also have 'Team Myers' T-shirts and bracelets," she said.
"Every nickel of the proceeds will go toward helping get Eric and Laura as home as soon as possible. All our soldiers over there are amazing. They sacrifice so much for us. The least we can do is help support them in a time of need."