GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) -- A Grass Valley Navy veteran wounded in Afghanistan received a custom-built home Saturday, thanks to a veteran's charity called Homes for Our Troops.
PO1 Ryan Sykes graduated from Bear River High School in 2000 and joined the Navy soon after. In 2008, he sustained a traumatic brain injury, among other life-threatening injuries, while serving his fifth tour in Afghanistan. "It left him paralyzed on the left side," says Bill Ivey, Executive Director of Home for Our Troops. He tells CBS13 that it also left Ryan with cognitive challenges and difficulty speaking, similar to having a stroke.
Ryan says the house offers him simple freedoms that he doesn't currently have in the two-story house he's been living in. He tells CBS13 that Homes for Our Troops has "given me more than just a new house."
Ryan was given a hero's welcome home Saturday morning, greeted by family, friends and strangers, as he was escorted in for a ceremony in his honor.
Ryan is a competitive cyclist, training to compete in the U.S. Paralympics. He tells CBS13 this new home will allow him to put his full strength and energy into his training and trying to walk again.
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