A 9/11 nonprofit organization welcomed a U.S. Army veteran and his family into their custom-built home Wednesday in Bozeman, Montana.
Sgt. Saul Martinez lost both his legs in 2007 when a penetrator detonated while he was in the lead vehicle of a convoy in Salman Pak, Iraq, according to NBC Montana.
Despite his injuries, Martinez has continued to support and serve his fellow veterans as director of warrior services for the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW).
“Through the experience of fly fishing in Montana, WQW is a catalyst for positive change in the lives of post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones. Warriors and Quiet Waters is an organization that helps veterans rekindle their love for the outdoors,” the foundation’s website read.
To help him live independently, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation gave Martinez a mortgage-free smart home with features such as an automatic door, wider hallways, and oversized doorways.
The veteran and Purple Heart recipient said the house meant even more to him because the foundation that built it did so in memory of a New York firefighter who sacrificed his life for others on September 11, 2001.
I was a sophomore in high school when 9/11 happened and it was on that day that I decided it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when. For it to come kind of full circle like this, for them to reach out and touch my family and I, and for us to be a recipient of one of their smart homes, it’s really indescribable.
Wednesday, the family was escorted to their residence where a ceremony was held just before they entered to explore the house.
“Not only am I comfortable in my own home and having zero worries while we’re here but also what it means for the future for us,” Martinez said.