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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2007
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Injured Marine closer to getting specially adapted Mobile home

By Garry Mitchell
Associated Press Writer

MOBILE — While wounded Marine Sgt. Greg Edwards struggles to walk on artificial legs — a reality in a life rebuilt after Iraq — he won’t have to worry much longer about where his family will live.

The Taunton, Mass.-based Homes for Our Troops will build its first specially adapted house in Alabama for Edwards, his wife, Christina, and their two young daughters, said Kirt Rebello, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization.

Once a general contractor is found, Rebello hopes the house can be built in six months.

Property in Mobile County is being purchased this month for the Edwards’ three-bedroom, two-bath home.

In a telephone interview Thursday from his temporary home in Weaton, Md., near his doctors, Edwards, who lost both legs in an Iraq explosion last fall, said he’s looking forward to the new home.

But he admits being “real nervous” about settling down after almost eight years on the move with the Marines Corps.

Edwards, who enlisted at 17 and turns 25 on Sept. 20, said he hopes to enroll at the University of South Alabama here and study business or criminal justice.

Rebello said Homes for Our Troops has 20 homes under way, including the Edwards home. He said 15 other homes have been completed for wounded veterans nationwide.

Rebello said the organization continues to grow, but unfortunately cannot help all the thousands of wounded soldiers returning from war in Iraq.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a grant program and loan guarantees that help wounded veterans with a home.

The veteran could be reimbursed up to $50,000 to renovate a home to accommodate a veteran’s injuries.

Besides structural changes to a home, putting in ramps and wider doors, for example, the VA provides adaptive equipment for vehicles to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Edwards doesn’t consider himself a war hero. “A few people tell me that. I was just a guy doing a job and things went bad one day,” he said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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