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Wounded warrior breaks ground on Fuquay-Varina home

Posted November 13, 2014

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— A former Camp Lejuene Marine who lost his leg after a blast from an improvised explosive device broke ground in Fuquay-Varina Thursday morning on a new home where he and his wife plan to put down strong roots.

Cpl. Ryan Wightman, 24, was gravely injured in May 2012 while trying to help a fallen Marine in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. After two years of multiple surgeries to try to save his lower leg, doctors removed it September.

After a long, painful recovery, he described Thursday's ceremony as "surreal."

"It's amazing," he said. "I can't believe this is happening. It's huge."

He and his wife, Melissa, are both from Orange, Park, Fla., but said they wanted to live in the Raleigh area because of its beauty and the people being so friendly.

Wightman's home is the ninth made possible for wounded warriors by Operation: Coming Home. The volunteer project is a joint effort by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County, Royal Oaks Homes and various other area nonprofits and businesses.


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  • christinebbd Nov 13, 2014

    What a great way to celebrate Veteran's Day with a belated gift like this. Thank you for your service Ryan! Welcome to the Triangle! I'm glad you're here.
    (My kids are named Ryan and Melissa!)

  • jimcricket15 Nov 13, 2014


  • Sandra Elizabeth Nov 13, 2014
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    Heartwarming and heartbreaking. But our military men/women are STRONG and nothing defeats them.

    Happy for you and your wife, NEIGHBOR!

  • shellrocks2000 Nov 13, 2014

    Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice. Congrats on your new home, it is very much deserved. Semper Fi!

  • Travis Upchurch Nov 13, 2014
    user avatar

    Welcome to NC, Great to have your family here!!

  • heelzfan4 Nov 13, 2014

    What a wonderful story, and deed for a well-deserving veteran and his family!

  • hi61600 Nov 13, 2014

    Great story...chivalry is alive and well in the Triangle.