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Wounded warrior breaks ground on Fuquay-Varina home

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.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — 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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