HANSON (CBS) – A wounded Army veteran who was nearly killed in Iraq now has a brand new home with his family in Hanson. Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors and Commodore Builders gave the keys to a mortgage-free, accessible house to veteran Corporal Paul Skarinka Tuesday.
Skarinka said he wanted to express “Just how thankful I am, myself and my family.”
Construction started back in October 2017 on the customized home for Skarinka, who suffered severe arm and leg injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade when his unit was ambushed in Iraq in 2004.
“Unfortunately, the house we were at before, he couldn’t use his wheelchair,” said Skarinka’s wife Jennifer. “He was constantly on his leg morning, noon and night. Now he can come home and go in his wheelchair if it’s been a long day.”
Skarinka, his wife and their two young children hoped to be in the home last fall, but back in September, work was delayed several months after two boys trashed the house and shattered 24 windows causing about $50,000 in damage.
When Skarinka got into the home on Tuesday, there was a framed photo of a message that a carpenter wrote on one of the support beams.
“Thank you for all you have done for our nation. It has been an honor to build this fortress for you all. May many great memories be made in this home,” the carpenter wrote.
The one-story ranch home is designed to make life more comfortable for Skarinka, who uses an artificial leg to walk. Jared Allen, a former NFL defensive end, started Homes for Wounded Warriors in October 2009.
“Especially those who are coming back severely wounded, amputees, (traumatic brain injury) that’s debilitating, for them to have to struggle in a home or not have a home that fits their needs and have to worry thinking about ‘How I am I going to get to the kitchen, how am I going to make this meal?’” Allen said at the event.