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The key to a soldier’s heart and home

Bright, sunny, beautiful: three words that not only describe the weather on the morning of June 25 but also the mood of the crowd as they celebrated the new home – built by Homes for Our Troops – for Sgt. Jeffrey Adams and his family: fiancè Shelley Targett and daughter Jewel.Homes for Our Troops is a nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans. This is the eighth home they’ve built in Colorado.In August 2009, Adams was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle he was riding in ran over a pressure-plated improvised explosive device. The resulting injury to Adams led to the amputation of both of his legs. During his 13 months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Adams was introduced to Homes for Our Troops.Almost two years after he suffered his injury, the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycles roared through a valley near Black Forest, leading Adams and his family to their new home. They arrived aboard a red fire truck, chauffeured by the Falcon Fire Department. Dozens of friends, family, dignitaries and members of the community who helped build the spacious and specially adapted home greeted the family.After the national anthem was sung, Larry Gill, the veterans’ liaison for Homes for Our Troops, spoke to the crowd: “In this day and time when the bulk of our society is infatuated and amazed at Super Bowl rings, NBA championships, soccer and hockey championships; Jeff, you’re our national champion. Please accept this home as our championship ring for you and your family.”Fellow Homes for Our Troops recipient Becky Hinkhouse, whose husband, Lance Corp. Kade Hinkhouse, was injured in Iraq, spoke through tears. Hinkhouse thanked the organization and volunteers for making their “new normal so easy.””This house really does that and it’s because of volunteers and donors,” she added.Anne McNeil of the Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce, state representative Marsha Looper and Dennis Grover, president of Genesis Custom Homes, addressed the crowd as well. Grover led the construction of the house and helped organize donations of labor and material.”I want to thank Homes for Our Troops for giving Jean and I the opportunity to give back to our country, give back to SGT Adams,” Grover said. He thanked the volunteers and businesses that worked together to complete the project.The ceremony concluded when Gill handed Adams the key to his new home.”It’s very, very exciting to receive a house, on top of that it’s built so I don’t have to struggle with things from everyday life that … I took for granted and I’m sure many people still do,” Adams said. “Every time I see this house, it’s a reminder that what me and Kade were fighting for was not in vain. There are still many wounded vets like myself and Kade; other guys that need houses built, they need houses, too.”This house is awesome, it’s beautiful.”

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