TAMPA - You can read the gratitude on Sgt. Mike Nicholson's face.
The 23-year-old Plant High School grad had just learned on Wednesday afternoon that he and 11 other severely wounded veteran's would be receiving custom built homes.
USMC Sgt. Nicholson lost two legs and an arm when an explosive blew up near him while he was serving in Afghanistan in 2011.
Home life for him and the other wounded veterans has been difficult. Their injuries range from being paralyzed to having lost all four limbs.
"The counters are really high, reaching for cabinets is really difficult, but these homes take care of that. They take away all those challenges," Sgt. Nicholson said.
Getting a custom home tailored to his needs means he gets ever closer to a life that's as normal as possible.
"It takes one less thing off your mind. You don't have to worry about building a house, about paying for a house, it helps you start a new chapter in your life," he said.
The homes are services given out by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Many people probably remember that Gary Sinise once famously portrayed wounded veteran Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump.
He says ever since the portrayal he's tried giving back.
"These are just a handful of the guys. There's a lot of Lt. Dan's out there, far worse than that," Sinise said.
The homes are just ever so closer to what he and the other foundations can do.
Sinise is not just an actor, he is also a musician. His band, the Lt. Dan Band, will hold a benefit concert May 10 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa.
All ticket sales from the concert will go towards paying for the event and Nicholson's home. The price of the home is currently estimated at about $500,000.
Tickets are available at SupportMikeNicholson.com .
"Having a home that can help make your life more independent, more manageable. It can give you a sense that you can do things for yourself, that's going to give them a sense of confidence and security that's much needed moving forward," Sinise said.
Not only does Gary Sinise feel like these men have earned the houses, they deserve it.
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