September 7, 2007, Newton, MA U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Evan Morgan, age 23, has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 METALCON International steel-framed home.
Cpl. Morgan was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and seriously injured in January 2005 while with a U.S. Army Special Forces unit that was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device). As a result he lost his left leg below the knee, his right leg above the knee, and the sight in his right eye. After three months in the hospital he spent a year in a physical rehabilitation center in Bethesda, MD. In February 2006 he moved home to Bakersfield, CA where he now lives in a rented house with his wife Jillian and 3-month-old daughter Sophie.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Evan Morgan, age 23, is recipient of the METALCON 2007 steel structure. He served in Iraq from 2003 to January 2005 when his was seriously injured by an IED that hit his unit.
Morgan’s injuries have not stopped his determination to stay active and productive. After being fitted with a Rheo-Knee prosthesis, which has sensors that analyze the knee 1,000 times per second to allow it to adjust to any step, he began re-learning how to walk. From there he turned to swimming and biking with a hand cycle. Last year he swam and biked in his first triathlon.
This September 16 he will swim and bike on a team from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), www.challengedathletes.org, participating in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon presented by Toyota in Malibu, Calif. On October 28 he will participate in the CAF’s annual fundraising triathlon at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, Calif. “It’s fun to do this kind of thing and be part of a team. It keeps you going,” he says. Morgan also has special “running” legs with a spring-action that allow him to run, an activity he hopes to tackle more fully in the future.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Evan Morgan, age 23, tries his first run on specially designed “running” legs. Morgan, recipient of the METALCON 2007 steel structure, lost both legs and the sight in his right eye while serving in Iraq in January 2005.
Right now he and his family are focused on what lies ahead with their new home. “We’re thrilled. It’s kind of unbelievable to know we’re going to receive a home that will be here for us thanks to the generosity of others. Since I heard about it, I’ve learned a lot about steel framing and expect I’ll know even more in the future,” Morgan said.
The home the Morgans will receive through METALCON is an 1800-foot structure, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths designed for handicap accessibility. He and his family will attend the opening day dedication ceremony at METALCON.
This continues an initiative METALCON began in 1994 to donate each structure built for the show to a non-profit organization or worthy cause. It’s the second consecutive year a METALCON home is being received by a seriously injured veteran.
“We’re so happy to be able to continue this concept of donating the steel structure to one of our wonderful service men and women who’ve done so much for all of us. The generosity we experienced last year is continuing again this year with donations of all the products and workmanship involved in putting this home together. It’s just an amazing, incredible process that gives back to someone who’s given up so much,” said Claire Kilcoyne, Show Director and Vice President of Trade Shows for Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc., which produces the event.
To have the home finished for Cpl. Morgan after the show, METALCON will again work with Taunton, MA-based Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), www.homesforourtroops.org. This non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(3) organization helps injured service men and women by raising donations of money, materials and professional labor and coordinating building a new home or adapting an existing one -- at no cost to the veterans. HFOT used METALCON’s 2006 structure to build a home in Melbourne, FL for SSG Paul Russell Marek, who was severely injured by an explosive device when he was serving in Iraq in September 2005.
This year Bruce Ward, head of construction for Worthington Integrated Building Systems, Northwest Division, Seattle, WA, is leading the process of designing and building the structure inside the METALCON exhibit hall, a challenge he has handled many times for this show.
Columbus, OH-based Worthington Integrated Building Systems is donating all framing and truss materials for the structure. "We are proud to be supporting Evan and his family at METALCON by helping frame their future with a home made of steel. We have built thousands of steel-framed homes for military families on bases around the country and we are very pleased to be partnering with Homes for our Troops to provide this special home for such a deserving young veteran and his family" said Ralph Roberts, President of Worthington Integrated Building Systems.
To make the work of building the structure at METALCON a bit easier, Baltimore, MD-based DeWalt is donating a supply of its powerful DW 268 VERSA CLUTCH, a 2500-rpm screw gun. “When we became aware of the opportunity to participate in this amazing thing that METALCON is doing for the veterans we jumped right on it,” said Andy Beckman, Regional Account Manager for DeWalt.
Students from Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction will use these tools as they help build the structure and disassemble it after the show. They will work with Ward and a team of experienced builders who learned their cold-formed steel framing skills at STUD University, the hands-on steel-framing program run exclusively at METALCON. The STUD U alumni are volunteering their time and expertise as a way to give back to veterans through METALCON.
METALCON International, the most comprehensive conference and exhibition for metal construction products, takes place Wednesday through Friday, October 3-5, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This will be the best and biggest event in its 17-year history, with 323 companies in 833 booths, including 59 new companies, a 42-session education program and three days of new live-action demos that include an interactive tool day and a live-action impact testing on different wall systems.
METALCON is sponsored by the Glenview, IL-based Metal Construction Association and produced by Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc. For more information about the show and conference or to register, please visit http://www.metalcon.com/ or call 800-537-7765.