Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wounded Iraq veteran gets "smart" home for the holidays

Disabled Veteran gets new "Smart" home
Posted at: 12/24/2012
By: Beth Wurtmann

AVERILL PARK - Air Force Technical Sgt. Joe Wilkinson got a first look around his new home Monday. It was custom-built to give him more independence, after becoming disabled during a tour in Iraq.

"Being here today it's truly amazing how it all came together, the community unbelievable it really hits the heart," Wilkinson said.

Paralyzed from the waist down and unable to live easily in conventional homes, a fundraising effort was launched to help.

Actor Gary Sinise, who played amputee Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, played a benefit concert at the Washington Avenue Armory. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and local contractors worked to build a 'smart home,' with wider doorways, and easy-to-reach thermostats and bathroom fixtures.

With the touch of an iPad in the kitchen, Joe will be able to lower customized shelves, and get his own dishes.
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