Grievously wounded Army veteran gets a free home

A new home for a local hero.

ALEXANDRIA, VA (WUSA9) - A home for a hero.

Fifteen years ago, an IED blast took both of Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Walker's arms and a leg, and almost cost him his life.

Now comes a huge gift from the Gary Sinise Foundation to help him heal.

Sgt. Walker says he's a man of few words, so he's struggling to express his gratitude to all the people who have come together to give him a new four bedroom, smart home in Alexandria.

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"It's awesome," he said. "Amazing!...Something that's useable and I know is mine forever. It's just an incredible feeling."

The foundation started by actor Gary Sinise, who played Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, is now building a dozen homes a year for badly wounded vets.

"They went out there and fought for our country. He deserves it. They all deserve it. And we need to take care of them," said Sinise Foundation executive director Judith Otter.

Sgt. Walker defused scores of bombs in Afghanistan, until he missed one designed to destroy an armored vehicle.

"I just went out and was unlucky that day," he said. 

He spent two years in Walter Reed, relearning the most basic tasks. While there, he also fell in love with his occupational therapist.

Caitlin Dennison is moving in with Walker and his 12-year-old daughter Kali.

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"He was just really inspirational," said Dennison. "I just really got to know him because we spent so much time working together."

He will be living in a high-tech house, with dozens of features designed to empower Walker.

"When the doorbell rings, it actually lights up and shows me who is out there," he said, fiddling with an iPad that runs a whole lot of things in the house. "The shades automatically drop for me."
   
Everything from the oven to the shower was built to give him more independence.

"The more I can do for myself and not depend on my family to help me, the better it is," Walker said. 

Walker grew up in Virginia. The foundation and its partners built the house in Alexandria for him so he could be close to his continuing therapy at Walter Reed.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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