The veteran is a double amputee and now has a home to cater to all his needs.
Retired Army Sgt. Christopher Kurtz was part of the 101st Airborne Division veteran.
He lost his legs in combat and has just received the keys to his mortgage-free home after receiving his approval.
He applied for the four-bedroom, three-bath home 2 years ago. Thanks to the Gary Sinise Foundation, Kurtz now has his home.
“We help veterans and first responders through their healing process,” says Gary Sinise Foundation CEO Mike Thirtle.
“When Gary wanted us to execute providing these homes to veterans, he wanted us to make them customable and tailorable for them and their families.”
The Kurtzes’ bungalow home is wheelchair friendly.
Counter tops and wide hallways with drop-down shelves, and other features controllable with an iPad make it easier for its occupants.
“The house that stands before you today is a small symbol of appreciation and respect from a grateful nation,” Sinise says in a video.
Sinise played Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump.”
Lt. Taylor was a disabled veteran who was Gump’s platoon leader during the Vietnam War.
Sinise shared that the Disabled American Veterans Organization invited him to their national convention. They wanted to present him with an award.
The Gary Sinise Foundation was the result of that event, which motivated him to help provide mortgage-free custom homes for veterans.
They’ve been at it for more than 10 years.
“I am incredibly grateful to the Gary Sinise Foundation, not only for what they do for the military community, but for changing my life with this new home that will help restore my independence and make life easier for our family,” the soldier said.
Kurtz enlisted in February 2009.
He had high hopes and serving in the military would help him get a higher education.
On June 13, 2010, Kurtz was deployed to the Arghandab River Valley region of Afghanistan. The 101st Airborne Division encountered combat situations daily.
He was on foot patrol in December of the same year when a remote improvised explosive device detonated near where he was walking.
Kurtz lost two fingers on his left hand, broke his pelvis in three places, and had most of the damage in both his legs.
He was evacuated to Kandahar Air Field and then to Landstuhl, Germany. Then they brought the injured soldier to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for additional surgeries.
Both legs were amputated above the knee.
Kurtz medically retired from the Army in 2013 after four years of service.
Kurtz’s home has a garage with machinery for welding and crafting. They were gifts from friends at work in PTL Fabricators. He’ll be using the shop to pay it forward.
Several local businesses completed his home. Among them were 31W, PTL, A-Team Concrete, Coffmans Home Decor, and Androws Flooring.
The March 24 turnover coincided with the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary so it was the perfect time.
Kurtz says he’s overwhelmed with all the work and support that went in to his home. He says he owes them all so much.
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