Marine gets new home through Gary Sinise Foundation

by Carlos Correa 
FALLBROOK, Calif. – A wounded marine who survived stepping on an improvised explosive device while deployed in Afghanistan is getting the chance to see his new dream home.

It was all made possible through community support and the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Sergeant Nick Kimmel is a triple amputee.  He lost both legs and his left arm four years ago and says he is not letting an almost fatal accident slow him down.

There isn’t a thing Kimmel wouldn’t do for his fellow brothers in the military.

“We always talk about how bad the Vietnam vets got treated and every time I see someone with a Vietnam hat, I try to thank them,” he said.

On Tuesday, despite the rainfall, several of those veterans are working together and showing just what it means to be there for one another.

“It’s pretty fantastic.  I’m not going to lie,” said Kimmel.

In 2011, Sergeant Kimmel woke up in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, four days after his stepping on an improvised explosive device that went off while he was helping build a patrol base in Afghanistan.

“Since I woke up, I kind of looked at it as in the past, you know.  You can’t change the past.  It is what it is and I say that all the time, it is what it is.  All you can do is push forward,” he said.

Kimmel went through surgeries every other day for an entire month.  Eventually, his left arm and both legs above the knee had to be amputated.

For a while, he was in a wheelchair and it made life in his old home quite in possible.

“My wheelchair is like 3 foot wide and I’m always banging into walls. Right now, I have carpet so, it’s hard to push on,” said Kimmel.

Through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s rise program Sergeant Kimmel is now able to live independently with a new custom smart home solely build with this wounded warrior in mind.

“As citizens it is our duty to ensure that our returning defenders are welcome back into their communities with the resources to begin a new life,” said Judith Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Kimmel’s new home features wide-open spaces making it easier for him to move around.  The kitchen cabinets open with several levels for better access and the home’s blinds are controlled through a touch of an I-pad.  It’s everything Kimmel says he imagined in his dream home.

“They always talk about forever homes, and this is for sure a forever home,” he said.

By the way this is the 40th home built through the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Kimmel plans to focus on his hobby of restoring cars and making his new place as warm and comfortable for him and his service dog, Rush.

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