Veterans group builds home for Middletown soldier

An amazing gift will help a Middletown veteran who was wounded during his tour of duty in Iraq.

Sergeant Dennis Leonard, who lost both of his legs to an improvised explosive device, was handed the keys to a new house on Wednesday.

“It's more than I could've asked for, more than I expected,” Leonard
said. “It's my place. I can come and go as I please, decorate it however
I want. It's just the next step in getting back to what should be a
normal life.”

The home is a gift from Helping A Hero, an organization that builds handicap-accessible homes for disabled veterans.

Leonard had been living with his parents.

“I don't mind, they don't mind, but it's time to move on and be out on my own,” Leonard said.

His home was specially built to help Leonard lead a normal life. It has wider doorways, an elevator and handicap accessible bathroom.

Leonard has a house mate, his eight-year-old son Ethan. He said his favorite part was walking into his room and seeing everything Steelers.

In fact, the duo received a special visit from former Steeler and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann.

“For me to come out because Dennis and his son are Pittsburgh Steelers fans is wonderful, but it gives me an opportunity to say thank you to men like Dennis who have made sacrifices,” Swann said.

“I can't put it into words,” Leonard said. “I'm sure somebody out there could for me, but I haven't been able to come up with the words for how thankful I am for everything they've done.”


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