KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Dozens of people set out Saturday to help a severely-injured Army veteran as he and his family prepare to move into their new home in Kissimmee.
Noe “Lito” Santos Dilone said he couldn’t be happier seeing dozens of people help landscape his home that morning during “Volunteer Day.”
It’s one of the final steps before Dilone and his two daughters can move into their new Kissimmee home in a few weeks.
They’re getting the mortgage-free, three-bedroom home all thanks to a national nonprofit called Homes For Our Troops, which aims to help post-9/11 severely-injured veterans.
“A life-changing opportunity for me and my girls. I’m happy that everybody came out today,” Dilone said. “I’m really excited.”
The Army veteran lost his left leg after an explosion in 2005 while serving in Iraq.
Sgt. Dilone said he knew he wanted to join the Army while attending high school in New York in 2001, seeing so many people in need following 9/11.
“I saw the second plane hit,” Dilone said. “I just feel there was a bigger purpose to do what I wanted to do.”
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Dawn Terry with Homes For Our Troops said the organization has built 354 homes in 45 states, and there are dozens of homes in progress right now.
She said these homes are wheelchair-accessible and have many custom adaptions for injured veterans.
“These veterans deserve to get their freedom back. In fighting for our freedom, they lost theirs, and these homes in turn give them their freedom back,” Terry said.
She said Dilone qualified for the program.
“He applied, he heard from one of his good friends (...) who is in the program and recommended him,” Terry said.
Eric Hunt was among the many volunteers. His company ABC Supply was also a corporate sponsor.
“To be a part of this is really special, to be able to help somebody who sacrificed for our country,” Hunt said.
To find out more about the Homes For Our Troops initiative and to see how to qualify for one of these homes, click HERE.
Volunteers taking part in a ‘Homes For Our Troops’ effort! Today, they’re helping to landscape the front of an army veteran’s new home in Kissimmee! @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/IZ9UeEQ2xi— Jerry Askin (@JerryAskinNews6) May 6, 2023
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Sgt. Noe ‘Lito’ Santos Dilone lost leg in ‘05 serving in Iraq