A retired veteran from the Marine Corps, who lost both of his legs in an Afghanistan bombing, was given keys to a new life for Veterans Day.
Staff Sgt. Jesse Cottle, along with his wife, Kelly, and their two daughters, Grace and Isla, were gifted a specially adapted smart home just outside Boise, Idaho, at the ceremony Monday, Nov. 11, ABC News reported.
In 2003, Cottle followed in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. During his fourth deployment in 2009, Cottle was on a mission to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when he accidentally stepped on one and it detonated.
“I remember being blown into the air, but it was immediately like in the movies where everything is muted and quiet,” Cottle said.
Cottle survived the blast. But in the aftermath, he underwent multiple surgeries and ultimately lost both legs, leafving him with prosthetic legs and wheelchairs.
After losing his legs and recovering, he met and married Kelly. But living in a home not designed for his disabilities that presented many difficulties for Cottle.
Now, the Cottles’ home is specifically designed with his needs in mind. It has wider doors and hallways than usually would be built, larger bathrooms, and devices that can be controlled through an iPad, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The Cottles’ home was built as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation‘s Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program, which, along with other donors like the Home Depot Foundation, aims to make life at home easier for wounded veterans and others.
Since the foundation was formed, it has helped improve over 45,000 veterans’ homes and facilities in the last decade.
“The opportunity to support this deserving family and provide Jesse with a fully accessible and tailored smart home is what makes our work so meaningful,” Shannon Gerber, executive director for the foundation said.