New home for war veteran

July 18, 2008 4:10:14 PM PDT
Volunteers are building a $250,000 house in Florence, New Jersey, as an act of love for 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Andy Robinson and his wife Sara. In June 2006, an IED exploded beneath his vehicle in Iraq, three Marines died. Robinson's lungs collapsed, his legs were broken, and a crushed vertebrae left him paralyzed below the chest, with limited use of his arms and hands.

"You have to learn how to do new things. When you don't have fingers, you have to learn how to eat a sandwich. You have to learn how to write a little bit. You have to learn how to open a bottle," Ssgt. Robinson said.

Despite the tough fight back from injury, the wheelchair bound sergeant couldn't get around at home.

Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit group that solicits donations to build specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans, is building one for the Robinsons' to make life manageable for Andy.

"From wide doorways and hallways to an elevator that allow access to basement, accessible counters, automatic doors, care system help from master bed to the master bath. He's done a lot for us and our country. It's really the least we can do," Mike Ducket of Homes for Our Troops said.

"This house is going to give him his independence back. So he fought and gave it to us and they're giving it back to him and it's pretty awesome," Sara Robinson said.

Some 9/11 first responders from New York, who lost fellow cops and firefighters, were among the volunteers.

A grateful Andy has plans for college, a career in law enforcement, and rearing children in this gift house that makes it all possible.

"It's really touching and it really shows the character of Americans and how good it is to be in this country," Ssgt. Robinson said.

The couple should receive the keys to their new home sometime in September.