Tigard wounded warrior welcomed to his new smart home - KPTV - FOX 12

Tigard wounded warrior welcomed to his new smart home

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TIGARD, OR (KPTV) -

Friday was incredible for an Army veteran in Tigard who was severely injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan five years ago.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Wade Mitcheltree has a hard time doing the things he used to do, but thanks to a brand-new home unveiled Friday, his life is about to get a lot easier.

Mitcheltree served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a roadside bomb in 2012 claimed his right leg, right arm and, a few years later, his left leg.

Exactly seven months to the day after crews broke ground on the project during the middle of January’s historic winter snowstorm, Mitcheltree and his family stepped into their new house featuring smart home technology to make living easier for the veteran.

“It’s life changing, the same as it was life changing when I got injured,” he said of the new home. “it’s a huge difference to have the home built with what I’m going to need.”

For the wounded warrior, even simple tasks like showering and cooking really aren’t that simple at all. Thanks to a partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, though, this smart home will make his everyday life so much easier.

“Everything in this house is designed to allow Wade to do things on his own,” Mitcheltree’s wife Katie Mitcheltree said. “I don’t have to worry when he gets in the shower because he can transfer directly from his chair to his shower bench.”

He can control lights, electronics even door locks from a single tablet, and the kitchen was configured so he would have full access and use, even if he was in his wheelchair.

The special features even extended to the master closet, which was equipped with a charging station just for Mitcheltree.

“It’s going to be filled with my prosthetics, extra legs and arms, so they can get charged,” he explained.

Mitcheltree said saying “thank you” to everyone who made the dream home a reality just isn’t enough, but they replied that just saying thanks to Mitcheltree for what he’s sacrificed for his country just isn’t enough, either.

“He’s just a very humble man, a great family man, very inspirational, and we couldn’t think of someone who deserves this house more than Wade and his family,” Scott Schaeperkoetter with the Gary Sinise Foundation said.

The new smart home was made possible by the foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment, or RISE, program.

Mitcheltree said he even received a phone call from Sinise himself when the veteran was accepted into the program and that the actor even shared his personal cell number in the case that Mitcheltree would need anything in the future.

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