ORLANDO, Fla. - They cut the yellow ribbon, and US Army Sgt. Chad Rozanski opened the door to his new home, a house that the nonprofit group Homes for Our Troops bought and fully customized for the wounded Iraq War veteran. "This will be the first time in my adult life to have my full, complete independence," Rozanski said.
Rozanski lost both his legs when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb, while he was on patrol in Iraq. Homes for Our Troops builds customized homes for disabled veterans who qualify. Rosanzki says he never thought any of this could've been possible. "Finally I'm in a position of ownership and control, and that is a very good feeling."
The house has more than 40 special features to accommodate his disabilities. "Wider doorways so he can come through in a wheelchair, wider hallways, the only transition are the four doors to the outside," said Homes for Our Troops CEO Brig. Gen. Tom Landwermeyer (Ret.)
There are no boundaries on the floor into the roll-in shower, which was specially-designed to be wheelchair-accessible. The controls are all electronic, the light switches and electrical outlets are the proper height. The kitchen has pull-down shelving and lowered countertops, and there's a built-in electric generator. The master bedroom closet is also a special safe room. All four walls, the floor, and the ceiling are reinforced with concrete, and it has a heavy-duty steel door, in case of an emergency.
Homes for Our Troops has built more than 300 homes across the US. They currently have nearly 80 home projects like this underway, 12 of them in Florida.
Sgt. Chris Short, a fellow wounded veteran says it's great what the organization is doing. "It's phenomenal. It seemed too good to be true when I heard of it, you know? Now, it's like it's real! So it's amazing."