Mon, 14 May 2012 23:35:00 GMT — For wounded Marine Corps veteran Tyler Steven Huffman, the word â??can'tâ?? is something you'll never hear him say. "Saying 'I can't' is pretty much the same thing as giving up, to me. But, you know, I can do the same thing everyone else can. It might take me longer to do it, or different way to do it, but I'll get it done. One way or another, I'll get it done," said Huffman. Like helping out with the up-keep of Apple Creek Farms in Centertown. Two years ago, Tyler was paralyzed from the waist down while serving in Afghanistan. Then last November, when he was invited as an honored speaker at a local military banquet, he says was literally dumbstruck upon showing up. "There was a huge crowd, and it kind of threw me for a surprise. That's when I found out about Operation Tyler". Operation Tyler started as an effort by his friends and several community members to help Tyler retro-fit his home, but even they didn't expect what happened next, as a local builder offered Tyler a brand new house on a lot of his land. "I...I really couldn't speak. I was so surprised and kind of dumbfounded by it - that someone would actually give a lot of land, that I was extremely grateful." And from there, a local organizer, Darren â??Bearâ??Rueter , says the flood gates of support were busted wide open. "The donation level is unbelievable. This community once again has stepped up to the plate to help someone in this community.â?? said Rueter. â??The phones have literally rung off the wall." For those that can't help with the construction, but still want to help with the cause, Tyler's friends have come up with a t-shirt designed to help him raise money for his new home. "We're selling the shirts for $12 a shirt or 2 for $20. All the proceeds for this will go to Operation Tyler." To Darren and all the others helping along the way, Tyler says he's constantly overwhelmed with gratitude on a daily basis. "The people that are helping out and the people that I've met in person, I can't thank them enough for what they're doing. I mean, you can say 'thank you' and I want to say more, but it's just one of those things, there's just no words to express how I feel about them coming to help out."
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KRCG offers coverage of news, sports, weather and local events in the Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri area, including the communities of New Bloomfield, Shaw, Boonville, Ashland, Hallsville, Sturgeon, Centralia, Mexico, Auxvasse, Fulton, California, Tipton, Eldon, Wardsville, Westphalia and Sedalia, Missouri.