Construction begins on home in Appling for paralyzed veteran

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Thunderstorms the previous night didn’t dampen the excitement Friday morning at an Appling construction site, where volunteers waited to build a house for a paralyzed veteran.

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Army veteran Sean Gittens arrives with his family and physical therapist to the Homes for Our Troops kick-off ceremony. A two-day "build brigade" began construction on a new home for the Gittens family.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Army veteran Sean Gittens arrives with his family and physical therapist to the Homes for Our Troops kick-off ceremony. A two-day "build brigade" began construction on a new home for the Gittens family.

Homes for Our Troops kicked off a two-day “build brigade” for former Army Sgt. 1st Class Sean Gittens and his family.

“What a beautiful day to build a home,” Fort Gordon Col. Jeffrey Lepak told the group.

The build brigade was the ceremonial kickoff of construction of the house on North Tubman Road, which will be given to the Gittenses.

Homes for Our Troops is a national nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans.

Gittens is partially paralyzed from brain injuries he suffered while serving overseas. He is in a wheelchair and can’t get around the family’s two-story home.

“This new house is going to make it so much easier on my family,” said Gittens’ wife, Sharon.

The house will include an open floor plan, roll-in shower, lift for the tub and roll-under counter space.

Construction of a home was set to start June 2010 near the Knob Hill subdivision house the family rents, but the property owners association issued a cease-and-desist order, contending the organization never gave final approval and there were concerns the home that was planned would reduce property values.

The Gittenses, after having hopes for a new home dashed once, were excited to see walls going up Friday.

The house is built using volunteer labor and donated money and materials.

In about eight years, the organization has built homes for more than 100 injured veterans nationwide.

Homes for Our Troops Public Relations and Marketing Manager Jennifer Fiorentino said the family should be moved into the home by the summer.

WANT TO HELP?

To get information, volunteer or donate to Homes for Our Troops, visit homesforourtroops.org. Also on the site is a list of received and needed materials.

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David Parker
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David Parker 01/27/12 - 04:39 pm
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Why does Appling get so

Why does Appling get so lucky? They get the lake, quiet streets, a great neighbor in Sgt. Gittens and family.....the list goes on.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/27/12 - 08:37 pm
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Appling also has Cgee & a

Appling also has Cgee & a great post office....:)

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 01/27/12 - 10:16 pm
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Congratulations, Gitten

Congratulations, Gitten Family!!!

Just4Him
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Just4Him 02/01/12 - 02:14 pm
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I am happy to say I live on

I am happy to say I live on this street and the house being built is right down the road from me. We are excited for this family and are glad that they will be living there. We welcome the Gittens' famil with open arms and can't wait to meet them.

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