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Grass Valley Navy Vet Gets Fresh Start From Homes For Our Troops Organization

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – Lumber, nails and plenty of hard work are going into a new build in Grass Valley, but it's not any ordinary home. It's a home for a U.S Navy veteran and Grass Valley local Ryan Sykes.

Sykes' life changed forever in 2008 during his fifth deployment in Afghanistan.

"I got into a motorcycle accident which resulted in my brain injury, collapsed lung, pneumonia, facial fractures, soft tissues," he said.

Sykes tried to avoid something in the road on his base and was found five hours later.

"I wasn't supposed to make it but I did," he said.

Sykes, who uses a wheelchair to get around, said it's been a tough mission navigating in the homes he's lived in ever since his traumatic brain injury and other injuries from the accident.

"Hallways are too small. I couldn't really reach up in the cabinets. Kind of a prisoner in my own home," Sykes said.

That's all changing thanks to Homes For Our Troops.

Sykes is getting a new custom-made home fit for his needs in his hometown.

"They actually have to fight their homes at times and they fought enough downrange for the rest of us that they shouldn't have to fight going into their home," Tom Landwermeyer, president and CEO of Homes For Our Troops, said.

"People in my situation need to know that they can give 110 percent because there are organizations like this that are there to catch them if they do fall," Sykes said.

Sweat and hard work are being used to build a home for a man who gave his blood sweat and tears for this country.

"It's an extremely powerful moment to see their reactions – completely overjoyed – knowing that challenges that they're facing in their current homes are going to go away," Landwermeyer said.

For the Grass Valley local who joined the Navy right out of high school, the new home can turn the page on this part of his life.

"It's been a long haul thus far. So it'll be nice when I just turn over the door, I can take that deep breath and say, 'Ah! This is my new start,'" Sykes said.

Sykes also competes in the Paralympics and says the house will make training a whole lot easier and more efficient to do.

The goal is to get him moved in by the end of September, according to Landwermeyer.

For more information about Homes For Our Troops, you can find out more here.

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