Injured veteran breaks ground on smart home

After losing two limbs in Afghanistan, a Southern Illinois veteran will soon gain a new home.

The Gary Sinise Foundation is working to build a specially adapted house to meet the family’s needs.

Watched over carefully by the Patriot riders, fellow veterans and neighbors, Sergeant Jared Bullock and his family break ground at the site of their future home.   After losing an arm and a leg to an IED accident in Afghanistan three years ago, Jared says everyday tasks can be a challenge.

"Showering and everything is more difficult, it’s not like you can wear a leg or anything so this would give me a bit more freedom," said Sgt. Jared Bullock.

He and his wife, Jesica say they’re stunned to see the Gary Sinise Foundation building them a new smart home designed just for them. Jesica says this will give her peace of mind to know her husband will be okay by himself when she’s at work and their son Aiden isn’t home.

"So it is a comforting feeling for me as a wife to know that he’s safe," said Jesica. "Live a normal life, I guess if you will, like a thousand times better than what it could be."

Scott Schaeperkoetter with the Sinise Foundation says this will let Jared control the temperature, monitor security cameras, even lower the blinds in his home right from his smartphone or tablet.

"Just the ease to be able to operate that home from wherever he’s at, if he’s sitting in the couch or he’s in bed, just to be able to operate the home from his phone or iPad," Schaeperkoetter said.

The Bullock family broke ground on the lot today. But by Christmas, they’ll be able to move in and call the place home, just in time for their 10-year anniversary.

"It’d be like happy ten years!” said Jared to his wife, Jesica.

"Yeah, I got you a new house," Jesica said, laughing.

"And it only cost an arm and a leg," Jared said.  He says they’re glad to soon have a house that truly lets them feel at home.

Construction on the home is set to begin in the coming weeks. The Gary Sinise Foundation says they’re hoping to have it up, running and ready for the family to move in by next year.

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