Wounded veteran and family surprised with new home in Charleston
"Since I was a child growing up in the Kanawha Valley, I've wanted to be a soldier," said Staff Sergeant Bruce Edward Burgess.
Staff Sergeant Burgess spent 15 years serving in the United States Army. He was first injured by an IED in 2003, but says that was just the first of many.
"It was really a rough go for us over there. We were undermanned and we were getting beat up pretty bad," said Burgess.
He has worked with the Military Warriors Support Foundation for years, trying to bring their projects into the Mountain State. Today, he was surprised by the foundation with a brand new home.
Many members of the military were in attendance at Hadded Riverfront Park in Charleston for the event. Staff Sergeant Brian Toney is a member of the Air Force. "Thank you for paving the way, showing us how it's done, and never giving up," said Toney, speaking about Burgess' service.
Regular citizens, members of the military, politicians, were all there for Burgess. But Burgess says, it's not about him at all. "The military builds that team environment. You're part of a group. Maybe I focus on that because that's the way it truly is with us," he said.
"I was able to visit with him earlier. He's a tremendous young man. He's sacrificed a lot," said Wayne Kyle. Kyle is the father of Chris Kyle. Chris Kyle was a Navy Seal, known to many as the most lethal sniper in American Military History.
In a case that gained national attention, Chris Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range in Texas by another military veteran in February.
"Ever since his death, we have made it our goal to give back to the veterans how ever we could," said Kyle.
That's what this family is doing, along with the foundation, the sponsors and the members of the military in attendance for Staff Sergeant Burgess.
Kyle said he knows his son would want to be there too. "I think that he would say that he was proud," said Kyle, as he held tears back.
Burgess says he's proud too, of the men and woman who serve.
The founder of the Military Warriors Support Foundation says their goal is to give away 300 more homes this year to wounded veterans.
If you are interested in nominating someone to be the recipient of a home, donated by the foundation, go to http://www.militarywarriors.org/ for more information.
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