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Volunteers Make A Home For Disabled Vet In Fallbrook

Volunteers Make A Home For Disabled Vet In Fallbrook

One disabled veteran will be able to live on his own, after receiving a little help from a lot of volunteers in Fallbrook.

Just over four years ago, Nick Kimmel was a Marine sergeant serving in Afghanistan. He lost his legs and most of his left arm to a roadside bomb explosion near the Kajaki Dam. It changed his life forever, and so did having a home of his own.

Photo by Steve Walsh

Former Marine Sgt. Nick Kimmel opens the door to his new home in Fallbrook, Jan. 5, 2016.

“When you have to rely on someone else all the time, it gets to be cumbersome,” Kimmel said. “I almost feel like I’m burdening them a little bit. So now that I have a home that I can be by myself, now I don’t have to rely on anyone else. It allows my life to get back to normal.”

A group of foundations and volunteers led by the Gary Sinise Foundation built him a home in Fallbrook that is adapted to work with his abilities.

“You can pull down the inside of the cabinets, so he can reach them. Everything is at his level,” said Judy Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

The house is run by a computer server in the front room closet. The lights and blinds run on an iPad, so Kimmel doesn’t have to get out of bed to close the drapes.

This was the 40th home dedicated by the Gary Sinise Foundation. The actor met Kimmel after the veteran threw out the opening pitch at the 2012 World Series.

The foundation's goal is to work with severely disabled vets to design homes that they cam live in the rest of their lives.

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Photo of Steve Walsh

Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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