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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 30, 2011

Illinois Community Builds Wounded Army Vet and Family New Home

Illinois Community Builds Wounded Army Vet and Family New Home

Photo: Sergio Lopez at the early site of his now 2,600 sq. ft home donated by the people of Hillside, Illinois

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A neighborhood south of Chicago has come together to build a new home for disabled Army veteran Sergio Lopez and his family.

In Hillside, Illinois, community members raised more than a quarter of a million dollars to build a house for 28-year-old Army Specialist Sergio Lopez, his wife, Maria, and two daughters, Sophia and Sasha.

Five years ago, Lopez lost both of his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq during his second tour of duty.

“That’s what we do. We do that everyday, when it’s tough, when it’s good, when it’s raining, when it’s hot, when it’s cold, we drive on, that’s what the military does,” Lopez told the Fox News Chicago.

Plote Properties Project Manager Adam Neisendorf said, “It’s amazing how many people participated in this project from individuals to labor organizations, to businesses, material suppliers and the residents of the community.”

The volunteers and those who provided the private donations say Lopez’s sacrifice is what drew them to the project. Contractors, architects, and other tradesmen had hoped to have the house completed by Independence Day and they made it happen. Wednesday, the Lopez family’s home was completed. They moved in Thursday.

Hundreds of people worked for 86 days to complete the three bedroom, two bath home, and the Village of Hillside’s Mayor Joseph Taburino said, “Let us be proud as a community in helping someone who gave so much for us.”

Lopez said, “It’s going to be so great watching my kids grow in this house and for them to see that all our sacrifices are actually worth it.”

The home is specially designed to suit Lopez’s needs as he continues to undergo rehabilitatio.