'Homes for our Troops' recognizes service, sacrifice by building adapted homes for injured SoCal veterans

TEMECULA, Calif. -- A Marine who lost his legs while serving in Afghanistan now has a special place to call home - thanks to a nonprofit organization that helps severely injured veterans.

A walk through the neighborhood is something many might take for granted. But when you're a double leg amputee, nothing comes easy.

"For me, the hardest part probably was just staying active," Matt Grashen said.

Grashen is a U.S. Marine who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan.

RELATED: Injured vets could be owed hefty tax refund after Department of Defense error

"I got hurt on Aug. 1st, 2013. An IED, I stepped on it with my left foot. It was roughly 20 pounds of explosives on a pressure plate, and I lost both legs right there on the spot," Grashen said.

His wife, Mia couldn't believe the news.

"I was pretty much in a state of shock, and I spent the whole day feeling numb," she said.

Five years later, life is about as normal as can be expected. Grashen and his wife have two kids, and Matt is extremely active. But don't be fooled - wearing his prosthetics can be painful.

"You can't wear your legs all day. You've got to be in the chair," Grashen explained.

Navigating a home that's not designed for someone in a wheelchair can be difficult - but not this home. This home was built and donated by the non-profit group Homes for our Troops and specifically designed to help Grashen live as comfortably as possible.

Shelves are lower for convenience and the entire bathroom is set up to easily navigate. Grashen and his wife are thrilled.

RELATED: Marin County project keeps veterans' stories alive

"It gives me peace of mind knowing that he can be comfortable and get around easily," Grashen's wife said.

One of the accommodations in a home like this is that all of the doors are ADA compatible, which means they're a few inches wider than normal. Also, there are motion sensors to easily open all the doors in the home that lead outside.

"This whole process almost seems too good to be true, but it really is," Mia said.

The representatives from Homes for our Troops said their goal is to restore some of the freedom and independence for veterans who've sustained life altering injuries. They also hope these homes are a way to recognize the sacrifice and service

"It's an opportunity to say thank you for your service, that's one thing, but we want you to be comfortable for the rest of your life for what you gave," a representative with Homes for our Troops said.

Matt said he's definitely appreciative of all the efforts made by the organization.

"These guys go above and beyond to make sure we're comfortable in this house, and we're very thankful for that," he said.

For more stories, photos, and video on veterans, visit this page.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.