Community donates home to wounded veteran's family

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. —

A wounded veteran received a very special Christmas gift Monday after two agencies that support wounded warriors broke ground on a new home for him and his family that will help him regain some of his independence.

American flags line the streets in the Kannapolis neighborhood as the community welcomes a hero home.

Sgt. Drew Mullee, his wife and son were finally at the groundbreaking of their new house.

"We're excited to have a new home a place we can live," Drew Mullee said. "Not just go here, go there. It's nice to have that final destination in site."

It's been a long road since he was injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

He lost one leg, his other was leg partially re-constructed and he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The family spent months living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in a hospital room as he learned to walk again.

"It's nice to see a community be so selfless," Mullee said.

Now www.ahero.org and Patriot Charities have rallied around this veteran's recovery, gathering hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to build a handicapped-accessible home.

"This particular home will have wider doors, a roll-in shower, roll-under sink, all the things Drew will need to be independent," said Meredith Iler with the Helping a Hero organization. "Communities like this help our wounded warriors and stay-at-home moms. Retired families will adopt them and we really believe having that homeowners associations involved in their lives is critical."

It is the fourth home awarded to a wounded warrior in North Carolina.

"Hopefully it will be done by summer and just in time to use the pool, I think," Mullee said. "So that'll be good."

Helping a Hero is planning to award its next North Carolina home for a hero on Valentine's Day in Raleigh.

For more information, visit http://www.helpingahero.org/home-program and http://www.patriotcharities.org/

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