If anyone deserves to have their life made easier, it’s retired Staff Sgt. Rico Roman.
While he was serving his country, Roman faced many hardships, including losing a literal piece of himself. But today, he couldn’t be happier with his new life — and new home!
Roman joined the U.S. Army in 2001 and was deployed four times over the following six years. During his last deployment to Iraq in 2007, his team was on a convoy mission when an IED, or improvised explosive device, hit their Humvee.
“I’m not walking out of this,” Roman remembers thinking at the time.
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He spent the next three months in a hospital bed, during which he underwent multiple surgeries on both legs. After a year of excruciating pain, he ultimately decided to have his left leg amputated above the knee.
It would have been easy for Roman to sink into despair following such a traumatic event, but he channeled his energy into adaptive sports instead.
Sled hockey became his main outlet to express himself, and it turns out, he’s pretty good at it! Not only did he end up joining the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, but he has also won gold in multiple competitions, including the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia!
The next best thing to happen to him? Meeting actor Gary Sinise, who is dedicated to honoring and supporting service members through his foundation.
The Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E program creates specially adapted smart homes for wounded veterans, mortgage free.
In 2017, the organization got to work building the home of Roman’s dreams, and his family officially moved in on July 2, 2020!
Roman lit up as he saw all the amazing features that would make his life easier, including a stair lift…
…a shower with a bench and plenty of space…
…and of course, a dedicated area for all the awards the Purple Heart recipient has earned! But the thing he’s looking forward to most is a greater sense of freedom and independence.
“If I need something I don’t have to ask anybody,” Roman said. “I can get absolutely anywhere in this house in my chair.”
What a great way to thank this hero for his service! Thank you, Sinise, for turning your gratitude into such an incredibly generous, life-changing gift.
See more of Roman’s new home in the video below, and share this story to congratulate him.
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