Nonprofit helps veteran with home repairs

Posted at 1:46 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2016-01-01 19:23:06-05

A veteran injured in roadside bomb is getting help to fix his deteriorating home.

A nonprofit organization has already recruited several companies to help out but says more needs to be done.

Just looking at James Wilson's home in Crystal Lakes and you can tell it need a lot of work. The outside siding is coming apart in several areas.

There are big holes left where his deck was removed by an organization that couldn't replace it. His furnace is broken and he heats his house with his pellet stove.

"It's pretty bad, but I’m not the type of person to go asking," said Wilson, an Iraq War veteran who was injured while he was on patrol.

"I was blown up twice and shot twice in Iraq in 2004. When a truck exploded in my face, I woke up in San Antonio, Texas, three weeks later with over 50 percent of my body burned," Wilson said.

Wilson suffered a brain injury, went blind in his right eye and has lots of scarring.

After learning about Wilson's situation, Bill Eckert, who run a Kansas nonprofit called Kamo Adventures, was moved to action.

"We came out and took a look at the house," said Eckert. "And the intent was to figure out how to put a deck on the house. Then we realized that the deck is the last thing that needs to be done."

Eckert has recruited the help of several companies: Owen Lumber, which is helping out with the deck and windows; Ply-Gem, which is doing the siding; and A.B. May, which is replacing the heater.

But Eckert said more needs to be done.

"We are looking for someone who can help with some gutters, some roofing," Eckert said.

They have already set up a Gofundme page under Wilson's name.

Wilson said his disability and Social Security checks are enough to feed him and his 8-year-old daughter but not enough to fix up his house. With all the help he is now getting, he is a bit overwhelmed.
"I've been in shock, it's been exciting, nervous, stressful, about a hundred different emotions. I'll put it that way," Wilson said. 


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