By Linda K. Loebach, AMCAugust 15, 2012
HAWTHORNE ARMY DEPOT, Nev. (Aug. 15, 2012) -- While standing in line to enter the post exchange on base in Logar Province, Afghanistan in 2010, Spc. Tim Hall was hit by a mortar.
When he regained full consciousness in a hospital, he realized he had lost both of his legs. Understandably, he also had lost a great deal of independence.
But, after more than 60 surgeries and months of rehab, his dream is to get his independence back.
And, hundreds of volunteers, along with Homes for Our Troops are helping him achieve his dream.
Homes for Our Troops is a national non-profit charity, which assists severely injured veterans by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and also coordinates the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability for vets to live more independently.
Hall was well-known in his home town of Hawthorne, Nev., as an all-star football player while in high school. The news of his injuries spurred the determined residents of this tight-knit, patriotic community to help one of their own.
In July, a huge crew of volunteers came together in Hawthorne, and in three days of construction, framed Tim's house and put in doors and windows, siding and a roof.
SOC Hawthorne, managing contractor of nearby Hawthorne Army Depot, loaned necessary heavy construction equipment and equipment operators during several days of construction on Hall's home.
"The house raised this weekend is a huge step forward on the path that will ultimately provide not just a house but a home for our very own returning warrior," said Lt. Col. Craig M. Short, commander at Hawthorne Army Depot and one of the speakers at the house raising. "We are very proud of Tim and his family, this community and the 'Build Brigade' for their efforts to raise this house."
Hall uses a wheelchair to maneuver and his new house will help him to safely and more easily complete everyday chores such as cooking and doing dishes in the kitchen or accessing facilities in the bathroom.
"The way the new home is built, it will be like I'm doing everything normal," said Hall. "I won't have to sit and think about how I'm going to do this. I can just do it."
"This house gives him the independence that I've dreamed of and wanted for him ever since this happened," said Hall's dad, Russel.
Hall's house is slated to be finished by November, just as he finishes up some additional surgery and rehab.
He'll be able to enjoy beautiful mountain views from his back porch and be able to live independently in his new home.
The next volunteer day to work on Hall's home is Sept. 22.