American hero amputee honored with new smart home
Wed, 26 Oct 2011 23:30:01 GMT — A marine and his wife were honored Wednesday with a groundbreaking ceremony for their new smart home at the Lake of the Ozarks. But he's not just any marine and it's not just any construction crew building his house. On March 26, 2010 27-year-old Marine Corporal Todd Nicely lost both arms and legs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. "I just told myself keep breathing, keep breathing and you'll eventually make it home to see your wife," wounded Marine Todd Nicely said. More than 100-people cheered for the marine as he got out of a police SUV Wednesday.. "We are building homes for our American heroes, he's a genuine American hero," Tunnel to Towers Foundation director for operations John Hodge said. Nicely said he was just doing his job. "I was taking care of my men and serving my country," Nicely said. "I don't like to think of myself as a hero because the heroes are the ones that didn't make it back." The marine is one of three quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation is helping. It's a foundation with a special tie to soldiers responding to the attacks of 9/11. Stephen Siller was a firefighter who lost his life on September 11th and his brothers started the foundation to honor him and all the men and women who fight for our country. Including New York firefighters at the ceremony who worked at Ground Zero. They came out to support the injured marine. Todd's new home with his wife, Crystal, is right on the lake and is supposed to be 3600 square feet in size. "There's a lot of smart technology in the house and that's what makes it so special because we want them to be comfortable in this house," Hodge said. Nicely said the new home will make things a lot easier for him. "The cabinets are going to come up and down and that's one thing that I TMm really looking forward to because it's hard to grab stuff from the upper shelves like plates and stuff like that, Nicely said. So if I do want to make myself something to eat, I don't have to try to stand on my tippy toes and maybe drop a plate." The foundation hopes to have the new smart home ready by Memorial Day. On the 10th anniversary of September 11th the foundation committed to building another 38 homes for the 38 triple amputees that served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.