Gary Sinise Gives Wounded Veteran A Mortgage-Free, Adapted Smart Home
Gary Sinise, known for his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in "Forrest Gump," recently gave a veteran wounded in Afghanistan a mortgage-free home.
Academy Award-nominated actor Gary Sinise is one of the few Hollywood stars around these days who actually goes above and beyond to help veterans. He’s able to do so through his eponymous organization, the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Sinise Gives Mortgage-Free Home To Veteran Who His Left
Sinise went all out to help a veteran once again this week, when his foundation gave a mortgage-free, specially adapted smart home to a serviceman who lost one of his legs fighting for our country in Afghanistan.
Josue Barron is a veteran from Temecula, California who was only 17 years old when he joined the Marine Corps.
Barron told ABC7 that after being raised by a single mother, the Marine Corps. became the father that he never had.
“I didn’t have a dad, so the Marine Corps became my father,” he explained. “There was discipline, so I feel like it became that role model that I needed to become who I wanted to become.”
Barron’s Injury In Afghanistan
On October 21, 2010, Barron was on his second deployment in Afghanistan when an IED exploded right by him. He ended up losing his left leg and his left eye.
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“I knew exactly what I was getting myself into,” he said. “I knew what I wanted. One thing I didn’t know was, I didn’t expect to lose a limb.”
In the wake of this tragedy, Barron received a Purple Heart for his bravery. However, the road to recovery was a long one for him.
Through it all, his wife and mother stayed by his side to support him.
“My wife became my main support system. My mom was there,” he recalled. “So I had two strong women with me every step of the way.”
Barron went on to say that using a prosthetic leg means that he is in pain nonstop.
“Walking on your prosthetic is pain daily. You’re in constant pain, and people will never see that. They just see somebody walking on a prosthetic,” he said. “When I come home, I want to sit down in that wheelchair and relax.”
Barron Contacts Gary Sinise Foundation
Being in constant pain is the reason Barron decided to apply to the Gary Sinise Foundation to see if they would help him.
His story immediately stood out to them.
“We go through a rigorous deep dive into their qualifications,” said Elizabeth Fields, CEO of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “At some point, it’s up to Gary to make his final approval.”
Barron was stunned to one day receive a phone call from Sinise himself. It was at that very moment he knew his family would be okay.
“Living in a house that is not accessible to you, you’re challenged every single day to do the daily activities that normal people do,” he said, which is why the home gifted to him has truly changed his life.
“Just being able to roll into the shower without jumping any obstacles, to be able to come home and have the whole house accessible to my wheelchair and me, it’s definitely going to change my life,” Barron added.
Fields explained that the home that was given to Barron is not only mortgage free, but also 100% adapted.
‘This Is Our Way To Say Thank You’
“They’re a lovely family, so deserving, he protected our freedom, and this is our way to say thank you,” Fields said.
Barron has moved into the home with his wife and their three sons, and they couldn’t be happier.
More motivated than ever, Barron hand-cycles 100 miles a week training for the next Invictus Games.
God bless Barron for all the sacrifices he’s made for our country.
Sinise recently launched The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network for defenders, veterans and first responders.
The Avalon Network will provide care to first responders and veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
“It’s critically important to me that our military service members, first responders, and their families all know how deeply we are here for them, we are not going to forget them, and we will always do more to protect and support them,” Sinise told Forbes via email.
And, God bless Gary Sinise for continuing to help our nation’s American heroes.