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Injured Lake Charles Veteran gets brand new "smart" home - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Injured Lake Charles Veteran gets brand new "smart" home

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A New York based foundation was in Acadiana Tuesday to give one Lake Charles veteran the gift of a lifetime.

Tunnel to Towers has donated dozens of homes to injured service members across the U.S., raising hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way.

"I mean, it's overwhelming. Even though it's all taken care of, it's just incredible," said Cpl. Zachary Parker, who received the new home.

Parker lost both of his legs and his right arm in 2012 when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan.

"Living in regular homes and having to overcome being short, because my whole life I was 6'5" and then I shrunk to 4'6"," said Parker.

Now, the Parkers are moving into 56th mortgage-free home that Tunnel to Towers has built nationwide. With one-of-a-kind kitchen and bathroom features and other modifications, it's completely customized for Zachary's independence.
     
New York based firefighter Steven Siller was off-duty on Sept. 11, 2001 when the devastating calls came over his radio. After getting stuck in traffic in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on his way to the World Trade Center, Siller got out and started running.

"Approximately three miles, where he meets up with his fellow members from squad one. All 12 of them perished in the collapse of the south tower," said John Hodge, COO of Tunnel to Towers.

Steven stiller died that day.

His cousin, Hodge, helped start the foundation in honor of Siller's, sacrifice and that of America's bravest.

The foundation came to Lake Charles to welcome Parker and his wife into their new home.

"I push a lot and I want to help with more than he wants help with. So, it will be really nice to not feel like I need to help him with something," said Parker's wife Misty.

"I cannot wait to dive in. Bring in all my personal stuff here too. Make the home our home," said Parker.

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