Foundation building ‘smart home’ for triple-amputee veteran and his family

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TIGARD, Oregon — A Tigard veteran who lost three of his limbs in an explosion is receiving a smart home to help him find ease in his everyday life.

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Wade Mitchel-Tree grew up in Pennsylvania and left for basic training just two weeks after graduating high school. He served three tours overseas, one in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

In 2012, Mitchel-Tree was severely injured by an IED explosion while in Afghanistan, and he lost his right leg and part of his right arm. Unfortunately, in 2016, his left leg also had to be amputated below the knee.

As a triple amputee, everyday tasks like climbing stairs or reaching a high shelf can be challenging. That’s where the Gary Sinise Foundation comes in.

The foundation works to build smart homes for some of the nation’s most severely wounded veterans, and one of those homes is being built for Mitchel-Tree.

On Monday, the Gary Sinise Foundation hosted a “Walls of Honor” event, where community members could come and write messages of gratitude on the walls of the smart home that’s still under construction.

Mitchel-Tree says he is beyond grateful and that the house will be life-changing for him.

“Excited and grateful. And it’s almost like I didn’t do anything to deserve all of this. I get around pretty good for the most past but I have some bad days where I get my legs on swelling or my skin breaking open or something like that. It’s very life-changing, very much so,” said Mitchel-Tree.

Mitchel-Tree also says he stops by at least once or twice a week to check out the house.