Local disabled veteran receives 'smart home'

Published: Mar. 28, 2017 at 9:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2017 at 10:18 AM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - A New York-based foundation is dedicated to building smart homes for disabled veterans who put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of those heroes lives right here in Southwest Louisiana and was presented with his new home Tuesday.

This home not only gives Cpl. Zachary Parker every accessible amenity he may need, but also the gifts of freedom, independence, and peace of mind in his own home.

Zachary Parker was only 20 years old when he stepped on an IED while deployed in Afghanistan. As a triple amputee, life in a normal home is difficult for Parker. That's where the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation comes in.

"How does a 9/11 organization turn out to build homes for the most catastrophically injured service members that came back from Iraq and Afghanistan? It's simple - we know if it was not for 9/11, Cpl. Zachary Parker would not have been in harm's way in 2012 in Afghanistan," said John Hodge, the foundation's chief operations officer for the foundation.

On Tuesday, the foundation unveiled Parker's smart home, fully equipped with automated features that can be controlled by sensor or an iPad.

"Living in regular homes, having to overcome... - I was 6'5" and then I shrunk to 4'6," so being able to reach everything and have everything made for me will make it actually enjoyable," said Parker. "It's overwhelming; even though it's already taken care of, it's just incredible."

Parker's wife, Misty, said she will enjoy watching him gain his independence back.

"I know I push a lot and I want to help him more than what he needs help with, so it will be really nice to feel like I don't need to help him," she said.

This is the 56th home Tunnel to Towers has provided and it had a lot of help from various different sponsors like to help make this dream a reality.

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

Click HERE to learn about Stephen Stiller Tunnel to Towers.

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