By Paul Burton

FREETOWN (CBS) — Surrounded by loved ones, veterans and even strangers, 31-year-old Sgt. Christopher Gomes raised the American flag for a homecoming 8 years in the making.

“This house has changed my life,” Gomes said.

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Christopher Gomes cuts the ribbon to his new house (WBZ-TV)

Christopher Gomes cuts the ribbon to his new house (WBZ-TV)

In 2008, Gomes was severely injured when the convoy he was with came under attack while serving in Iraq. Gomes lost his right leg and since then he’s been struggling to get around.

On Saturday, Homes for Our Troops awarded Gomes along with his wife and son a brand new 2,600-square foot new home in Freetown, completely mortgage free.

Army Sgt. Chris Gomes' home built by Homes For Our Troops (WBZ-TV)

Army Sgt. Chris Gomes’ home built by Homes For Our Troops (WBZ-TV)

“It’s been almost 8 years since injury. I am speechless and to me this means freedom,” Gomes said.

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Gomes uses his prosthetic leg all the time. This new home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and two car garage. It’s also equipped with 40 special features which will allow him to freely use a wheelchair without encumbrances.

“This is extremely important. This homes has wider doorways and hallways  and a rolling shower. Its a safe home and fully an accessible home,” Homes For Our Troops CEO Tim McHale said.

In November, eight New England Patriots players volunteered to help build the house.

Patriots volunteer with Homes For Our Troops (WBZ-TV)

Patriots volunteer with Homes For Our Troops (WBZ-TV)

Gomes moves in with his wife and son just in time for Christmas.

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“This is peace of mind for me and my family. I now get to enjoy life again,” Gomes said.

Paul Burton