Local wounded warrior received home from Homes for Our Troops
BROAD RUN, Va. (WJLA) - It’s been a long battle for Marine Lance Corporal Nick Thom.
On April 4, 2010, then fiancé of Thom, Samantha Chambers, knew something was wrong when the phone rang.
"I was really just preparing for the worst,” Chambers said.
Thom was in a four-day mission in Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device went off.
“When the IED went off, it got so hot so quick that it's all I felt,” Thom said.
The explosion left Thom a bi-lateral amputee with multiple injuries and missing three fingers.
Eventually, Thom came back home to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he continues to undergo therapy and treatment.
No regrets, he said. If he had the chance, he would do it again.
"…for my family, for the preservation of the American Dream. That's why," Thom said, referring to the reason.
This week, Thom reached another milestone. He received a brand new home.
"A lot larger than we had expected,” Thom said, referring to the empty home in Broad Run, Virginia. "Doors are wider, the shelves are shorter, the microwave is at wheelchair level."
The brand new home was built especially for Thom by Home For Our Troops, an organization that since 2005 had delivered retrofitted homes to severely handicapped soldiers across the country.
“There are over 150 adaptations in each home that we build,” said Autumn Hotaling, community outreach coordinator at Homes for Our Troops.
Thom loves the wooded backyard and the sidewalk, which is neatly placed around the home. It allows him to get around quicker.
His wife, Sam, was stunned when she saw the handicapped shower and bathroom.
"Because of them, I can raise a family and not worry about getting a home that I can't raise them in,” Thom said.
"Yes, he has a great support network but also just his outlook really from the beginning, he never let him get him down,” said his wife, Sam. “It's surreal, but we're so thankful for everyone who helped and donated. It's amazing," she added.
The couple gets their keys Saturday and expects to move in next week.