The Gary Sinise Foundation announced Wednesday it plans to build smart homes for two police officers shot in the line of duty.
Reports said former officer Matt Crosby of the Rock Hill Police Department in Rock Hill, Missouri, and former officer Ryan O’Connor of the Arnold Police Department in Arnold, Missouri, also recieved personal calls from the Oscor-nominated actor and veterans rights advocate, informing them of the plan.
A blog post on the foundation’s website read:
Officers Crosby and O’Connor can look forward to a more comfortable recovery and rehabilitation process in 100% mortgage-free homes that uniquely suit their mobility and daily life needs all while fostering greater independence. Through the support and generosity of the American people, the Gary Sinise Foundation is honored to provide police officers Mathew Crosby and Ryan O’Connor and their family a specially adapted smart home to turn a new page in their recovery efforts and begin a new chapter in their lives.
Reports said Officer Crosby was shot on April 8, 2010, while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Rock Hill, Missouri. The bullet went through his left shoulder and lodged in his spine, leaving him paralyzed.
On December 5, 2017, Officer O’Connor was shot by a burglary suspect in Arnold, Missouri, as he was transporting the man to the Arnold Police Department. Reports said the bullet struck O’Connor in the back of the head, causing him severe brain damage and his right arm to be paralyzed.
Sinise said the 9/11 terror attacks inspired him to give back to veterans, adding that he specifically planned for the announcement regarding the officer’s smart homes to take place on the 18th anniversary of the tragedy, according to St. Louis Today.
Officer Crosby told reporters that his current three-bedroom home is not wheelchair accessible, making it difficult for him to move throughout the house or even make it into his backyard.
However, all of that is about to change.
“I’m just so grateful. People have already donated so much,” Crosby said.
The homes are estimated to cost anywhere from $500,000 to $1.4 million to build and can take up to 12 months to complete.
As she stood next to him at the event on Wednesday, O’Connor’s wife, Barbara, said the smart home will give him back his dignity. She then handed the microphone to her husband.
“I, am, one, grateful, American,” an emotional O’Connor told reporters.