Kokomo war vet falls into coma
An Afghanistan War veteran who is getting a new home built by volunteers suffered a setback that has added some urgency to the project.
The home may look like any other on the outside, but it is a little different. It is the home of a hero.
"When I look and see this, it is community in the greatest sense," said veteran Anthony Walton.
Walton liked to walk around and talk with the volunteers who were building the home for him and his family. Walton was shot 37 times in Afghanistan, costing him the use of his left arm and left him legally blind.
Eyewitness News caught up with him around Thanksgiving as the home was taking shape. Then Sunday, the volunteers who have toiled everyday got a call.
"I was devastated. Just think, a guy survives combat. Injured, shot 37 times, comes home, has a seizure and falls and is now in intensive care, fighting for his life," said project manager Troy Mercer.
Now the project, which is part of the Homes for Wounded Warriors Project, took on even more significance.
"No matter what happens, I have to think of his wife and kids, because if that was me, that is what another soldier would do for me," Mercer said.
"It's really important that we get everything done here, so Anthony and his family can spend time here at home," said Marc Trauerbach with Homes for Wounded Vets.
As the project has worn on, the number of volunteers has started to dwindle, but the determination remains strong.
"We had a couple guys to do flooring, but we had a couple of guys commit and not follow through. It was supposed to be done this week," Trauerbach said.
They all remember the man who they are building it for. They remember the sacrifice and they know he is fighting once again. Work needs to be done.
"I think it's important to move forward and get it finished for him," Trauerbach said.
"I don't want to let him down. I can't," Mercer said.
The volunteers, most of them veterans, will tell you there is a special bond between combat veterans that is tough to explain, but you will recognize it when you see it - it is taking shape at 1515 North Wabash in Kokomo.