Injured soldier honored with a new home

May 30, 2008 10:49:36 AM PDT
There was a special groundbreaking in Wake County Friday morning. A group of homebuilders, who are also veterans, came together to help a wounded warrior rebuild his life.

Operation Coming Home is a home is being built to thank a very special soldier for his sacrifice for our freedom.

October 27, 2204 is a day Sgt. Joey Bozik cannot remember. "No, no, I don't remember anything," Bozik said. "My body pretty much went into shock."

He was on patrol in a Humvee with his unit South of Baghdad. "I was in the passenger front seat and my vehicle rolled over an anti-tank mine. This is what I've been told, and um pretty much blew up in my floorboards," Bozik explained.

Just 26-years-old, Bozik lost both legs and his right arm. "I'll be honest with you, I didn't know how I'd react." But his reaction made this Fort Bragg soldier's story so remarkable over the past four years. His story has been documented by so many, including major news magazines like Time and major television networks like CNN and even MTV.

A little over a month after his injury, Joey married his sweetheart, Jayme. He endured a year-and-a-half of grueling rehabilitation in the hospital and learned to use electronic prosthetics.

Bozik joined a work/scholarship program in California and he refused to give up his beloved golf games. I was able to quickly tell by the prosthetic arm he selected ? covered in bright flames ? that Joey isn't afraid to live life.

I was moved by what he told me when I asked him if he was really as strong as he seemed, having lost both legs and arm. "I'm just more of a realist, you know," Bozik said. "I survived. Why would I want to spend the rest of my life being upset over it. Now I'm looking forward to what's next." What's next is in his home state of North Carolina and Operation Coming Home. Local veterans in the homebuilding industry are building the Wilmington native and his Texas bride a home for free in Fuquay-Varina. All the labor and materials are 100% donated as a way to give back.

"We've really gotten to have a lot of our own ideas into the design of this house to make sure this is truly an accessible place," Joey's wife Jayme explained. "I hope it ends up being a place where Joey doesn't feel like he has any disability.

"The home will also be where they'll become parents. Jayme is expecting the couple's first child on December 24th and they're both very excited. "We're continuing to move forward we're bringing another child, another individual into this world and we're gonna teach them, and we wouldn't have that opportunity if it wasn't for them," Jayme said.

That opportunity begins on a very important day ? four years to the day Joey was injured in Iraq. "The day I got injured is actually what we call the alive day. It's like a second birthday. We celebrate it every year. Just so we don't lose touch and forget," Joey said. "Kind of like 9/11, you just don't want to forget." The Bozik's home will be built in the Southern Oaks neighborhood of Fuquay-Varina. Click here for more information about OperationComingHome.org


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