Volunteer organization builds local veteran a home


Monday, Staff Sergeant Lee Jones received the keys to his new Robeson County home, thanks to a program called Homes for Our Troops.

Jones is celebrating a new chapter in his life. The 82nd airborne division soldier was severely burned in October of 2005 when an IED blew up his Humvee in Iraq.

"Army clothes were on fire. I stop dropped and rolled. I stopped dropped and rolled. I stopped dropped and rolled but no," Jones said.

He suffered burns over 45 percent of his body. Three of his buddies died that day.

"Well it's important for us to give a tribute to our veterans in a tangible way," U.S. Congressman, Mike McIntyre said. "It's good to give the platitudes but we want to put that into action. And to see Homes for Troops come through like this, the widespread community effort, what a tribute it is in a very tangible way to say thank you on behalf of our country."

The house probably cost about $300,000 to build, but Sergeant Jones is not going to have to pay one cent. And some of the amenities are just fantastic.

"Lee having had some severe injuries to his hands is unable to manipulate faucets," Homes for Our Troops Project Manager Paul Gemme said. "So if he just puts his hands underneath he'll be able to use a motion-activated faucet. Motion-activated hand dryer. The doors are all three-foot, the doors are all four-foot wide."

The home is one of 20 built by Homes for Our Troops for wounded service members across the country. It is the fourth built in North Carolina.

The generosity of so many has left the combat veteran emotional and speechless.

"I don't know … thank you," Jones said.

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