Home donated to disabled veteran - Tucson Local Media: Desert Times

Home donated to disabled veteran

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:00 am

Sgt. Paul Kelly drove up in front of his home on May 29, he became so overwhelmed that his head was spinning.

Paul, along with his wife Gwen, and their 16-month-old daughter Kaitlyn, were the recipients of a home, which was given to the family because Kelly is a deserving and injured U.S. Army veteran.

The house was donated by U.S. Bank in a partnership with Freedom Alliance and Five Brothers after learning of the family’s situation that has stemmed from an injury Paul sustained in 2009 while he was serving in Kuwait when a building he was in collapsed. Last week, about two dozen people associated with the project gathered around the front yard of the house, which is just north of Silverbell and Grand roads, and awaited the Kelly family’s arrival.

The family knew of the house and understood they would be moving in to a new house, but with the donations made by Five Brothers, the house had been significantly improved with tile, carpet, new kitchen appliances, remodeled bathrooms, along with the front and back yards being landscaped.

“I have really bad nerve pain and I am not feeling the pain too much,” Paul admitted after the keys to the house were ceremoniously handed over. “It’s incredible. It’s an honor. Thank you.”

Falling on what have been hard times for the family, Paul admitted he wasn’t sure he would even be able to make it to the house because his truck broke down earlier in the day.

Paul began serving his country in the Nevada National Guard in 2006. He then went into active duty in the Army in 2007. He is now medically retired.

In 2010, Freedom Alliance learned of Paul, which set in motion the events leading up to last week.

In 2012, Paul went on a fishing trip that was organized by the Freedom Alliance, which is for 8-12 injured veterans to spend four days fishing and boating down the Rouge River in Oregon.

“It’s one of those moments where you get the injured troops together, they’re fishing and all day, and at night they just talk and release,” said Brian Butler, the spokesperson for Freedom Alliance. “It’s like on of the most powerful programs that Freedom Alliance has.”

During that trip, a few things came to light for Paul and his own understanding of his issues with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a bond was formed between him and a member from the Freedom Alliance.

Until recently, the 43-year-old veteran and his family lived in Boulder, Nev., where they had a two-hour commute to the nearest VA hospital. Now, his commute is about 15 minutes.

“It’s home, I don’t have to worry anymore. The last three years I have been all over the U.S. getting surgeries,” Paul said. “So, we’ve moved like three or four times and this is home now. There is no more having to move anywhere.”

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