Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter
Helping a Hero is giving the gift of a home to a McKinney family also known for paying it forward. Monday they broke ground on a new home for Senior Airman Brandon Byers, an Iraq veteran, who went through 30 surgeries and lost his left leg.
Two Texas nonprofits hope to move an Air Force veteran and his family into an accessible home in McKinney by Christmas.
Senior Airman Brandon Byers, his wife, Megan Byers, and their two children are the latest recipients of Houston-based nonprofit Helping a Hero's home project.
"For military kids, especially in military families, to have forever homes -- there's just no words to describe how that feels," Megan Byers said. "This is where we'll always come home to, and for us to have that security for our children -- that this is going to be your home forever -- it's something we haven't been able to give them on our own."
Brandon Byers, who grew up in Waxahachie, joined the military to follow in his family's legacy, eventually serving in Iraq.
In 2006, his vehicle was hit by an explosively formed projectile.
His injuries led him down a road of about 30 surgeries, eventually including the amputation of his left leg.
"We have a story like many others but, through it, our family and our marriage has become so much stronger than it ever has before," he said, saying his wife "literally pieced him back together."
Since returning home, Brandon Byers has finished his degree from the University of North Texas and, with his wife, began volunteering with veteran's programs, specifically with other married couples.
"We want to be involved, really, trying to touch one life at a time, one family at a time," he said.
Their home will be a 2,600-square-foot, four-bedroom home, complete with wheelchair-accessible hallways, sinks and shower.
Local group Smiles Charity helped fund the home by hosting a Memorial Day concert in McKinney that raised $100,000.
To fund the Byers project, which eventually w, local group Smiles Charity stepped in, hosting