Volunteers raise house for Iraq war vet
As an army of carpenters raised the walls on his new Woodbury house, Sgt. Marcus Kuboy stood on his crutches, peering into what eventually will be his living room.
"I'm very honored to be the recipient of so much kindness," Kuboy, 30, said Friday of the 210 volunteers framing the house at 3539 Windmill Curve from foundation to roof in just three days.
The "Build Brigade" blitz, arranged by the nonprofit Homes For Our Troops organization, will produce a finished house by September for Kuboy, a Minnesota National Guard medic who was severely injured in a bomb blast in Iraq in March 2007. He'll be handed keys and deed free of charge, compliments of volunteers who rallied to help him.
Kuboy was riding in the back seat of a Humvee on the outskirts of Fallujah when the vehicle ran over an explosive device. He spent nearly a year in Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington and the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center with injuries to his feet, legs, back, left arm and jaw.
"I'd rather have not been hurt, but we always knew that was the risk we were taking," said Kuboy, who is recovering from surgery on his right foot that was done this spring. "The bombs weren't going off to welcome us there."
Kuboy has served with the National Guard for three years. He's preparing to retire this summer and will begin studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College for a nursing career this fall.
"He's the ultimate volunteer," Kirt Rebello, the chief projects officer for Homes For Our Troops, said of Kuboy. "What we have here today is volunteers helping volunteers."
One of those helping volunteers was Bryan Hanrahan, 23, a carpenter from Oakdale. "I thought I'd jump right in," said Hanrahan, who works for McGough Construction in Roseville but donated his time to help raise the house. "I think it's a good cause. He's a really nice guy. He put his life on the line for his country."