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Giving Thanks — and Homes — to Wounded Vets

Volunteers build new houses for military heroes who have sacrificed so much.

by
Bob Owens

Bio

November 27, 2008 - 12:35 am
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Simply Google “Joey Bozik” and read the pages that result without developing a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes. Go aheadI dare you.

Sgt. Bozik, a soldier who served in Afghanistan and then Iraq, awoke in Walter Reed Army Medical Center on October 27, 2004, missing both legs and his right arm after an anti-tank mine ripped his Humvee apart. After grasping the extent of his injuries and the long recovery ahead of him, he wanted time to be alone with his fiancée, Jayme Peters. He told her he wasn’t the same man, that the road ahead would be long and hard, and that this isn’t what she thought she was getting when they got engaged. He gave her the option to go.

On October 27, 2008, under a crisp blue Carolina sky, I watched Joey Bozik step out of a long, black Hummer limousine on man-made legs. Standing beside him was Jayme, the woman who married him just a month after he said she could go. She is currently pregnant with their first child, a little girl due Christmas Eve. The Boziks were coming home, but what brought them to this home is a story of giving thanks that is heartwarming in and of itself.

The greater metropolitan area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill (and the small towns around and between them) has long been known as the “Triangle,” one of the fastest-growing parts of North Carolina. Triangle Real Estate and Construction Veterans (TREACV) is a group of military veterans in the building and land trade. Among the reasons they came together is a desire to help newly disabled veterans of our current wars get low-cost housing. TREACV joined with the Wake County Homebuilders Association, which was charting a parallel path, and Operation: Coming Home was born in the spirit of honoring those that gave so much.

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