CLEVELAND, Minn. - A Minnesota soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan will be coming home to a new house.
Army SPC Jack Zimmerman has been rehabbing in San Antonio, Texas for nearly a year-and-a-half. But on Wednesday he was home in Cleveland, Minnesota with his wife Megan for a ceremonial groundbreaking.
The home will be built by the Helping a Hero Home Program, a national organization that has put up handicapped accessible homes for 60 wounded warriors since 1995.
At one point the Zimmermans had planned to have the house built in Texas, taking advantage of the warmer winters and the military support system in San Antonio. "We were really set on staying in Texas, and I think we were just kidding ourselves into thinking that was home now," said Jack Zimmerman.
Merdith Iler - founder of Helping a Hero - called her organization a collection of "a lot of patriotic Americans who want to say thank you in a tangible way."
The Zimmermans will be left with a mortgage of about $50,000 after Helping a Hero pays for the rest of their home construction. The home will be built on a four-acre lot bordering a lake and a cornfield a few miles outside Cleveland.
Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman was among those attended the groundbreaking. He called Zimmerman a hero who can be assured, "this community will wrap its arms around you."
The Zimmermans will return to Texas for a few more weeks of rehab, but hope to be in their new home for the holidays.
Megen Zimmerman, who also grew up in Cleveland, says the couple is 100 percent certain it made the right decision to move home. "I can't imagine raising my kids without their grandparents nearby," she said.
"It's good to be home," added her husband.