Community helps raise money for East Tennessee disabled veteran’s new home

Lance Corporal and Purple Heart recipient Cody Evans says he's grateful for community support.

OAK RIDGE (WATE) – Dozens of people in Oak Ridge helped raise money for a new home for an East Tennessee disabled veteran on Sunday.

Lance Corporal and Purple Heart recipient Cody Evans enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2009 as a combat engineer, where he handled and searched for improvised explosive devices.

One day during a 2012 military tour in Afghanistan, the unthinkable happened.

“I was clearing a building out one day and I stepped on one and had to have both legs amputated,” he said.

Previous story: Speedwell wounded veteran to receive wheelchair-friendly home

The accident changed his way of life and robbed him of his independence. Evans said depending on others for things that used to come easy has been the most difficult part of his transition.

The accident changed his way of life and robbed him of his independence. Evans said depending on others for things that used to come easy has been the most difficult part of his transition.

“Going from being a self-sufficient adult and being able to take care of myself no problem to needing help to carry a box or to pick something up [has been] a pretty hard adjustment,” Evans said.

A Soldier’s Journey Home, a non-profit organization aimed at building customized homes for disabled veterans, reached out to Evans to help make life easier.

The group, along with nearly 500 volunteers, will be building a wheelchair-friendly  home for the wounded soldier beginning on May 14. Organizers hope to complete the building in seven days.

Evan said he could not be more grateful for the outpouring of love and support from his family, friends and community.

“One of the things that really helped me was asking for help and letting people help me,” he said. “That was pretty hard to do but once I did, it started making my life a whole lot easier.”

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