First responders help build retired veteran’s ‘forever home’

PEARL RIVER, La. (WGNO) — Dozens of first responders came together to build a local disabled veteran’s home in Pearl River, free of charge.

In less than 24 hours, retired Army Sgt. Ryan Major will be walking into the home he always dreamed of owning.

“There were no words that I can describe my emotions, my feelings towards it. I was just so happy,” said Major.

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In 2005, while on patrol, Major sustained life-threatening injuries, which led to the amputation of his legs.

For the last two weeks, those with the nonprofit “A Soldier’s Journey Home” have worked to ensure the home is custom-built for all his needs.

“These homes have to be constructed for individuals’ needs and that’s what we try to do to the best of our ability,” said Vice President of A Soldier’s Journey Home Sal Cetrone.

“Whether it’s the finishes, the pull-down shelving or the items he will have in his closet. It’s all things that will make life more accessible to him,” said President of A Soldier’s Journey Home Paddy Neville.

Major is forever grateful, saying he cannot thank everyone involved enough.

“They are making my dream come true of having a house down here where I can be close to family and this is going to be my forever home,” said Major.

Neville said the most rewarding part of this will be seeing the look of happiness on Major’s face the day of the reveal.

“When he comes into his home, he will have access to stuff he has never had before. So, we know when we are leaving his life is going to be so much better,” said Neville.

“I will most likely be up early morning, probably four getting ready and being just excited for the whole car ride to the house,” said Major.

The non-profit thanks everyone who was involved in seeing Major receive the home he deserves.

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