Home for a hero
The house in southwest Bakersfield may not have a roof yet, but it already has army Corporal Wesley Barrientos' name on it. Barrientos was serving in Iraq when his vehicle rolled over a hidden bomb in the road. He lost his left leg and right foot in the explosion.
Since then, he's often in a wheelchair, and things like getting around his house and taking care of his daughter have become challenging. "Where we are right now I can't really take care of her. I can't give her a bath, I can't go into the kitchen and cook her some food."
That's where Homes for our Troops steps in. They build houses around the country for severely wounded veterans. "By the end of their three day push they'll basically be done with the outside of the home. But it's what comes next, what's on the inside, that's really special,"said Doreen Lewis, homes for our troops. "Wider hallways, roll under sinks, cook tops, things like that, roll in showers. So he can roam the whole house without assistance or help from anyone. It's incredible, it's freedom," added Lewis.
And here's what makes it special. Everything is donated by volunteers and sponsors. "The opportunity to build a house for somebody that paid such a hard price to ensure our freedom here, how could you say no," said Jim Ward of Essex Homes.
One man drove all the way from Santa Rosa to help build. "I'm glad for the opportunity, I'm glad there's room for be here," said Matthew Coyle, volunteer.
Builders should finish the house by late July. That's when the Barrientos family can move into their new home and this wounded hero can start enjoying the very freedoms that most of us take for granted...freedoms, Wesley Barrientos fought for.
If you want to find out more about Homes for our Troops and how you can help, go to www.homesforourtroops.org.