Wounded Veteran Receives New Home

After losing leg in battle, Sgt. First Class John Walding receives special thank-you

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Texas nonprofit has built a customized home for a highly decorated Army veteran.

    Helping a Hero officially welcomed Sgt. First Class John Walding and his family into their four-bedroom house on the border of Little Elm and Frisco this week.

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    Walding, a Special Forces communications sergeant, was severely injured during a mission in April 2008.

    “It was basically an avalanche of gunfire,” he said.

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    The lower part of one of his legs was severed by sniper fire. He spent about three hours of the six-and-a-half hour gunfight with the injured part of his leg tied to his thigh.

    Following his service in Afghanistan, Walding came home to Texas with questions about how he would provide for his family, he said.

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    “I tell everyone, the most frustrating part of being in the military is that you protect the American dream, but you can’t afford to live it,” he said.

    Helping a Hero, which builds homes for injured veterans, designed the home specifically for the family's needs.

    Walding can use a prosthetic leg to walk, but he often uses a wheelchair at home. His house was specifically designed with wider doorways and features such as a shower seat to make his life more comfortable.

    “To have the liberty to just move through your house, it means a lot,” he said.

    Helping a Hero has built 58 houses for wounded veterans. It currently has eight more homes under construction.