Sergeant Eric Morante served in the Marine Corps until it became impossible.
"A dump truck with thousands of explosives and two suicide bombers were in the vehicle and detonated the bridge,” Sgt. Morante recalled. “I ended up losing my leg above the knee.”
Ten years after the accident that took his right leg, volunteers are saying thank you by welcoming him to a new home in New Braunfels.
Megan Hostler is the president of Nine Line Foundation. Her nonprofit is joining forces with A Soldier's Journey Home to build a house for Eric in record time.
"We’ve been able to marry those two talents and put this build together in less than two weeks. It’s a 10-day build," she said. "Just with what he’s gone through, we realize he’s a very deserving young man.”
Thousands of people have had a hand in the project, from local construction companies who have donated or discounted services to volunteer firefighters from across the country.
"You get to give back to the people that went and served us,” said firefighter Keith Mosley, one of the volunteers. “And in Eric’s case, he lost part of his body. I don’t know that there’s much more to get out of life.”
Friday is the last day of the build before they turn over these house keys to Eric. And if actions speak louder than words, two weeks of labor certainly says a lot.
"It makes me feel honored,” Sgt. Morante said. “It makes me feel humbled and very appreciative that there are patriotic people who actually really care.”