Local News

Ground broken for wounded war vet's 'Hero's Home'

Posted May 30, 2008 2:35 p.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2008 5:28 p.m. EDT

— A veterans group, developers and homebuilders broke ground Friday on what they call a "Hero Home" for a local war veteran severely wounded in the line of duty.

Joey Bozik, a former Airborne military police sergeant with the 118th Military Police Company from Fort Bragg, lost his legs and an arm in Iraq nearly four years ago, as a result of a roadside bomb.

"On Oct. 27, 2004, my Humvee rolled over an anti-tank mine and detonated in my floor boards."

Bozik, a Wilmington native, spent more than a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and then moved to California. His recovery continues.

"But every day is a little bit greater, and you become a little bit more capable, so it's been tough, but it's great," he said Friday.

Several organizations say they know it's tough.

That's why they've joined together in an effort to enhance Bozik's quality of life. The land, building materials and labor to go in the home all have been donated.

"We wanted to do something for this community, something construction-related, real estate-related, and we wanted to do something to help veterans," Jim Anderson, with the Triangle Real Estate and Construction Veterans.

The group was formed more than a year ago by professionals in the real estate and construction business who are also veterans.

It's mission, "Operation Coming Home," is to provide injured war veterans with free homes. Bozik is the first recipient.

The groundbreaking ceremony was just the start of what's ahead Bozik.

The home, an estimated value of more than $200,000, will be built with special features to make life for Bozik easier, including radiant heat floors, easy-access cabinets, a sprinkler system and appliances with special hinges and levers that make opening doors easier.

He and his wife, who are expecting their first child, will move into their new home Oct. 27, his "Alive Day" – the anniversary of the day he came out of coma from his injuries.

"For me, the accessibility issues with the house are most important," Bozik said. "It's going to be home. It's going to be a place where I can relax and feel comfortable like most people do when they come home from work."

It's a place, he says, he hopes he can move past his injuries.