Gary Sinise Foundation by Patty LaRoche

While biking in our subdivision the other day, I came across this construction site. A group of donors are making it possible for Sgt. Stefan Leroy and his wife to have a new home. I later Googled Sgt. Leroy and found this article posted on the Gary Sinese Foundation website:

On June 7, 2012 while deployed in Afghanistan, Stefan and his platoon were clearing improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Suddenly, two IEDs detonated and Stefan rushed to aid those injured by the blasts. While carrying an injured soldier to a Medevac helicopter, Stefan was struck by a third explosion. He lost both of his legs immediately.

Stefan was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he spent over a month in the hospital. He spent two years learning to adapt to his prosthetics, drawing strength from his friends and the other amputees at the hospital. Sixteen months after his last surgery in September 2014, he ran the Boston Marathon. “Stefan’s current living situation does not accommodate his wheelchair, causing him stress in his day-to-day activities. The Gary Sinise Foundation looks forward to providing Stefan with a specially adapted smart home to ease his daily challenges.” Actor Gary Sinese, most known for his performance in “Forrest Gump,” started this foundation to make dreams come true for our defenders, veterans, first responders and their families. His website claims that over 1,000,000 soldiers have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan “bearing the mental and physical wounds of war.” Thanks to donations to his foundation, fifty-seven homes are completed, and twenty more are under construction. I rode back to the site to talk to some of the workers. Everything in this house will be wheelchair-friendly, from wider doors to lower sinks. The painters praised the efforts of Mr. Sinese who used his public platform to help those in need. When I got home, I looked further into what drove this incredible man to give so sacrificially. I was excited by what I found. Speaking at a Knights’ of Columbus dinner, an organization with which he has partnered, Sinese said this: “When I think about the life and sufferings of Christ, when I think about the stories of the extreme hardships and heavy burdens that our military men and women and their families were willing to, and continue to bare, I can’t help but think about this verse: ‘For greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’” If there is a better motive for sacrificial giving, I don’t know what it is.


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