WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- An American hero got the keys to a new home in West County on Friday. Retired Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland and his wife got to see the smart home built just for them.
Legrand was deployed in Afghanistan in 2010 when his vehicle was hit by an IED. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and had both legs amputated.
His family’s new home was built with wide hallways, a handicap accessible bathroom, and features than can be controlled with an iPad. The Gary Sinise Foundation spearheaded the project and dozens of other companies around the area donated time, supplies, and money.
U.S. Army Sergeant Legrand Strickland and his wife Carrie were taken aback seeing pictures of their new home. “When I saw it, it was perfect, like everything was laid out just right,” Legrand said. “I was like, ‘Man I can't believe
Gary Sinise, the actor behind the foundation, was at Friday’s celebration.
“These are very special days where we get to hand over the keys and we actually hand over the iPad that controls the house because there is so much smart technology,” said Sinise.
The Strickland family’s home is the latest project for the Gary Sinise Foundation in the St. Louis area. The group also helped build a smart home for Ballwin police officer Mike Flamion and revamped veteran Chris Sanna’s home to make it handicap accessible after he was paralyzed in a shooting after a Cardinals baseball game.
“Folks here really care about their first responders and veterans and we are taking advantage of that and bringing people together and having them be a part of the RISE program we have at the Gary Sinise Foundation to help provide these specially adapted smart houses,” said Sinise.
Sinise said his dedication to veterans is rooted in his family’s history.
“I have veterans on my side of the family going back to World War I, World War II, Korea. And then on my wife’s side, Vietnam veterans, Cold War, current conflict so a lot of veterans on both sides of the family. That’s where it starts,” said Sinise.
He said the smart homes are his way of saying “thank you.”
“I want our country, our citizens to know we have Veterans Day coming up and this is a way to honor all our veterans and today we are going to honor one of them, Legrand Strickland, by giving them a new home,” he said.