A plot of land in the Irvington area has been purchased by the Homes for Our Troops organization as the site to build a customized home for a young Marine who lost both legs in Iraq combat, a spokesman said Wednesday.
The home will be built for Sgt. Greg Edwards, 24, and his wife, Christina, 28, and their two small children, said Larry Gill of Semmes, who is heading up the local campaign to raise funds for the house. Gill said $72,000 has been raised locally thus far to pay for the actual construction of the house.
Gill said the land was purchased recently by Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit group based in Taunton, Mass., which is raising funds to build homes in 18 states for U.S. service members who have been severely injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Homes for Our Troops in Taunton said the homes built through that organization specifically to fit each disabled service member's needs have an average value of between $200,000 and $250,000. Gill, meanwhile, said that about $25,000 worth of building materials have been donated for the local project.
Edwards lost both legs and sustained permanent damage to one of his hands last year when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He has had multiple operations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He is now recovering from a recent surgery there, and he and his family are temporarily living in a Maryland suburb, Gill said. As soon as Edwards is able, he will come to Mobile for the groundbreaking ceremony, Gill said.
The Marine grew up in Glen Allen, Miss., but wants to live in the Mobile area to be near his parents, David and Cheryl Edwards, Gill said. He said Sgt. Edwards and his wife picked the site of the property purchased for the house.
People interested in donating funds for the construction of the new home may do so at any of 44 southwest Alabama Regions Bank branches, said the bank's executive vice president, Terry Ankerson. Gill said he is seeking an area contractor to donate his time and expertise to oversee the construction of the house for Edwards. He said he is also seeking the donation of more building supplies. Gill may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.