Army of volunteers building a house for disabled veteran

By Judi Gatson - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A soldier who fought for us needs an army of Midlands volunteers to step up for him.

SSG Ronell Bradley was on his third deployment in Iraq when his military vehicle ran over an IED in Baghdad. He lost both legs and severely injured his hand.
Since then, he's worked hard to get his life back. But there's still one big project that needs to be done. "I was on Ward 57 at Walter Reid for about six months, and then after that six-month period, I got transitioned to outpatient status where I was sent to the Fisher House to continue my outpatient rehabilitation," said Bradley.

It's been one of the toughest battles of his life. "It was frustrating because before got injured, I was able to do everything on my own and then looking after the injuries I had to pretty much have help doing everything," said Bradley.
With the help of the community, an empty lot will give Bradley the one thing he wants most -- independence. "I actually have a two-story house, but it's not handicapped accessible," said Bradley. "The doors aren't widened, I can't really make it up underneath the counter, I have a hard time struggling to get into the toilet, the shower is not handicapped accessible, I have a transfer tub bench in the shower."
Work starts this weekend to build a new way of life for Bradley and his family, transforming a lot in Lake Carolina into a brand new accessible home. "The layout and the nature of the new home actually gives me a high sense of independence," he said.

"I wouldn't have to rely on my son or my wife to do anything for me," continued Bradley. "I'll have that independence and be able to cook, clean, bathe, on my own. He can just go and go through the garage, jump in his car and take himself to work."

Homes for our troops is the non-profit group sponsoring the build for SSG Bradley. They still need professional tradesmen and volunteers at the Lake Carolina site this weekend from 7:00am-5:00pm each day. If you can help or if you'd like to donate to the project, click here.

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