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Wounded warrior gets new home

Updated: Thursday, August 8 2013, 11:46 AM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

MECHANICSBURG -- Sgt.Dennis Leonard of
Hummelstown could not fall asleep last night. He was excited, anxious,
and above all, knew his life would be changing...again. 

In 2007,
while on his second active-duty tour in Iraq, Leonard was attacked by a
hidden IED. It was an explosion that killed his troop commander while
leaving Leonard without legs.

“Everybody in that patrol never saw
the explosion,” said Leonard. “Once I woke up in a field hospital,
that’s where I knew what my injuries were.”

After a call home to
his mother to tell her what happened, Leonard had several surgeries and
physical therapy treatments. While he retired in 2009, Leonard decided
he and his  8-year-old son, Ethan, would move back to Central
Pennsylvania. 

Since then, he’s lived with his parents. But,
that’s where the Helping Our Heroes organization comes into play to
change his life for the better. 

HelpingOurHero.org is an
organization that works in conjunction with the local communities to
build and adapt homes for severely-wounded veterans in Iraq and
Afghanistan. 

On Wednesday, Leonard got his. 

After a
homecoming ceremony featuring local officials and former Pittsburgh
Steelers football player Lynn Swann, Leonard entered his home –
furnished, to his surprise – and he couldn’t help but become emotional. 

“Now,
being in the home that I can access and not worry about squeezing into
places, I can get back into,” said Leonard. This new home boast
handicapped-accessibility entrances, including ramps, as well as an
elevator. In the basement, there’s a room for him to open up a gunsmith
shop. 

Donors included Deimler & Sons Building and several local and national companies for their supplies to the home. 

For more information about the program, visit helpingahero.org.Wounded warrior gets new home


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