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August 1, 2017

Wounded Marine veteran gets new Sumerduck house

Photos/Cassandra Brown
Larry Bailey lost both legs and his left hand from an IED in Afghanistan in 2011.
This is definitely a blessing for myself and my family.
— Larry Bailey
Larry Bailey
• Age: 31

• Hometown: Zion, Ill., near Lake Michigan. 

• Details: Purple Heart recipient, triple amputee, U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Family: Wife, Desiree, and daughter, Aiyla, 1. 

• New home:  Royalls Mill Road, Sumerduck

• House: About 2,800 square feet on 14.6 acres. Took about nine months to build and cost about $600,000. 

• Funded by: Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

• Website: Click here.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
With a grateful smile, the profoundly wounded Marine veteran entered his new Sumerduck home for the first time Tuesday.

After nine months of construction, the house will provide greater independence for 31-year-old Larry Bailey, a former Marine corporal.

Originally from Zion, Ill., Mr. Bailey enlisted in 2007. 

About six years ago, he lost both legs above the knee and his left hand when he struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.  

After a long recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, he finally will be able to live with less help in the “smart home,” funded by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

About 80 citizens, relatives, friends and local first responders gathered for the patriotic home dedication ceremony on a warm August morning.

> Video at bottom of story

An entourage of motorcyclists, Goldvein Volunteer Fire Department vehicles and Fauquier sheriff’s cruisers escorted Mr. Bailey to his new, two-story house off Royalls Mill Road.

“Thank you to everyone for your support,” Mr. Bailey said humbly during the dedication ceremony. “This is definitely a blessing for myself and my family.”

Tailored to his needs, the 2,800-square-foot dwelling features wide hallways and doors, a moveable stovetop, low countertops, automated toilets and an elevator.

“It will definitely be more comfortable and convenient for me and make things easier for my family,” Mr. Bailey said. “Less of me asking for help or for a hand with something like getting a glass off a top shelf, basic, simple stuff.”

With an iPad, he can control many aspects of the house, including its heating and air conditioning.

The family chose the 14.6-acre site near Sumerduck because, “I feel like it’s an ideal area for me. There aren’t neighbors right on top of you and, at the same time, you’re not to far from civilization.”

Mr. Bailey, his wife Desiree and their year-old daughter Aiyla plan to move immediately from their Woodbridge apartment.

The home design will also help Mr. Bailey with “the smallest things, like having enough room to properly move around in my wheelchair and prosthetics,” he said. “I know from living in the apartment, there will be a lot less frustrations.”

“He can do it all himself without assistance, which is a big deal,” foundation board member Jack Oehm said.

In the future, Mr. Bailey plans to start a freight transportation brokering business.

Since 2011, the foundation has planned or built 56 custom houses around the nation for veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

Private donations, fundraisers and business sponsors provide funds and materials for each home. 

Based in New York, the foundation honors the memory of a fallen firefighter, Stephen Siller, who ran through traffic and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to help the injured at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. 

The Semper Fi Fund, a charity that provides financial assistance to military members, nominated Mr. Bailey as a candidate for a “smart home.” 

Each veteran chooses his or her home site, held in a trust for five years.  

“After the five-year mark, the veteran has the option to either keep the property in the trust or transfer the title to his/her name,” according to the charity’s website.

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