Wounded NJ veteran receives 'smart home'

It's a home fit for a hero and his precious seven-year-old daughter.

Each time USMC Sgt. Aaron Alonso has been asked to serve his country, he has answered the call. But on Thursday, with the help of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Sgt. Alonso’s Country and his community,  finally got the chance, to say thank you in return.

Sgt. Alonso was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan back in February 2014. He was given a less than one percent chance of living, but survived. Now, this new smart home in Newton, gives him the opportunity to thrive, once again.

"It is freedom. It’s independence. It’s someplace where I can gather with my family," said Sgt. Alonso.

Sgt. Alonso’s injuries involve the loss of both legs and significant abdominal injuries. He says he stopped counting after 100 surgeries.

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The devices in this home,  from the placement of the lights to the drop-down cabinets and low-level microwave ensures he can do the things he enjoyed before the attack.

Sgt. Alonso joined marines after September 11,2001. It was the sacrifice and bravery of people like firefighter Stephen Siller that prompted him to volunteer.

Siller was due to be off work on 9-/11, but when the call came through, he too, stepped up and in turn, gave his life.

"This young man… he deserves it," says Frank Siller, the Chairman of the T2T Foundation and Stephen’s brother.

This home, a place to make memories and also remember the sacrifice, the bravery, the resilience of those in the Armed Forces.

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In 2021, the T2T foundation will gift or completely pay off 200 homes of military members or their families. If you'd like to help, you can visit Tunnel2Towers.org to donate $11 a month and help provide homes to America’s heroes.

Also, it was announced Thursday, the foundation plans to host its annual Tunnel To Towers 5k run/walk on September 26. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.