Hero to Get New Home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCDFW.com
    Marine Cpl. Zach Briseno is getting a handicap-accessible home in the spring.

    A Purple Heart recipient who was severely injured in Iraq says he feels blessed to be getting a handicap-accessible home.

    Marine Cpl. Zach Briseno became a double amputee at age 23. He had fulfilled his dream of becoming a Marine and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

    "They were watching us from a building and they blew up an IED and it blew up under my truck and it took both my legs off," Briseno said. "Looking down, you're used to seeing feet and, all of a sudden, right away, it was like, 'Man my life is over.'"

    He felt he had little hope, until a fellow double amputee changed his perspective.

    He used a wheelchair for months until he got new prosthetic legs.

    "Just having that feeling of looking down and seeing something there, I don't know, it brought tears to my eyes," he said.

    One thing he loves about his new prosthetic legs: they made him taller. He used to measure 5 feet 10 inches tall; now his new legs make him 6 feet 2 inches.

    "I always wanted to be taller," Briseno said with a laugh.

    But everyday events can be difficult.

    "The apartment I live in now, the unit is not handicap-accessible," he said. "If I had to use my wheelchair, it's harder to transfer and do, like, jump in and out of the shower and things like that."

    Briseno still plays baseball and coaches his son's soccer team, but he will always need the help of a wheelchair.

    "Sometimes, my legs get sore, and I have to take them off, and I have to be in a wheelchair," he said.

    Courtesy of Helpingahero.org, Briseno will soon have a handicap-accessible home.Crews will break ground on his new North Fort Worth home Monday. It will be ready for Briseno and his 5-year-old son in the spring.

    "It's definitely a big blessing," he said. "I've been blessed I have a place to call my own. My son and I can start over and start a brand-new life."