ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A marine, who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2011 got a new home today as a thank you for his service to his country.
Several local politicians like Congressman Daniel Webster and Oakland Mayor Kathy Stark were in attendance as the new home was dedicated to Corporal Ronald Barnes Saturday morning.
This was the fifth Home At Last home, provided mortgage free, through the generosity of many individuals and Central Florida companies, to a seriously wounded veteran of the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
Barnes enlisted in 2009 shortly after high school graduation, then following boot camp, completed engineer school at Camp Lejeune.
While stationed with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion in Camp Lejeune, he planned to make a career in the Marines and eventually become a teacher.
As a member of the 3rd Marines 4th Battalion, Barnes deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 and in less than a month, stepped on an IED pressure plate or land mine.
Barnes injuries resulted in the loss of both legs and damage to his arms and nose.
The home was presented to Barnes, his wife Katy and their infant son.
West Orange Habitat for Humanity established the project in 2007 to meet the special housing needs of permanently disabled combat wounded veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. The project is dedicated to presenting at least one mortgage-free home each year to a veteran. The projects are completed entirely by donations and in-kind contributions of construction labor and materials.