Updated 07/17/2012 02:23 PM
Breaking ground on "Smart Home" for veteran
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DELMAR, N.Y. -- It was a moment month's in the making for a disabled Air Force veteran and his family.
Tech Sergeant Joe Wilkinson helped clear the way for his new Nassau house Tuesday. A 2,500 square foot "Smart Home" with wheelchair accessibility.
Degenerative nerve damage, also known as Gulf War Syndrome, likely caused the paralysis in Wilkinson's legs. He relies on his family to help him around their current house, one that's too small for a wheelchair to get around and maneuver comfortably.
Thanks to groups like the Gary Sinise Foundation, "The Tunnel to Towers Foundation", and the local Nassau community, the Wilkinson family will soon move into a home that will make Joe's life a lot easier.
"There's a lot of places in the house the wheelchair doesn't fit through, like the doorways bathroom so Joe will be able to move around anywhere in the house without struggling," said Lucretia Wilkinson, Joe's wife.
"This will give myself and my family more independence you know somebody always likes to stay with me at all times, so this will kind of let them live their life more, and help me do my own thing," said Joe Wilkinson.
Wilkinson and his family hope to move into their new home by Christmas, though the house still needs plenty of work.