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June 9, 2016

Profoundly wounded vet to get Sumerduck smart home

Photos/Cassandra Brown
Larry Bailey lost both legs and his left hand from an IED in Afghanistan in 2011.
Mr. Bailey with wife, Desiree.
It’s really heartwarming that America would reach out and do this and help my son and other wounded warriors. I’m so proud and he deserves this. I think it will be a beautiful home and meet all his needs.
— Father, Larry Bailey Sr.
Larry Bailey
• Age: 30

• Hometown: Zion, Illinois, near Lake Michigan.

• Family: Wife, Desiree; daughter Aiyla.

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

• Where: Royalls Mill Road, Sumerduck.

• Foundation: Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

• House: About 2,800 square feet on 14.6 acres. Will take six to eight months to build and cost about $500,000.

• Website:
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
American flags line the country road near Sumerduck and flutter in the cool summer breeze.

A young Marine veteran sits with his wife and 4-month old daughter Wednesday afternoon in a clearing off Royalls Mill Road — the peaceful 14.6-acre site of their future home.

This groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of a relaxing time in Cpl. Larry Bailey’s life.

Originally from Zion, Ill., Mr. Bailey joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007.

Almost five 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, the 30-year-old finally will be able to live more independently in a new “smart home,” funded by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Since 2011, the foundation has planned or built 50 custom houses around the nation for veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11.

“This is the least we can do for these guys who have scarified so much,” said Jack Oehm, spokesperson and retired New York fire battalion commander.

Private donations, fundraisers and business sponsors contribute money 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 9/11.

The Bailey family, which lives in Woodbridge, chose to build their home near Sumerduck for the “quiet, secluded area,” his wife, Desiree, 24, said.

“I like this area. It has a lot of country and city at the same time,” Mr. Bailey said.

“This is the biggest property that was offered to us. I definitely wanted a lot of room because I like to shoot,” Mr. Bailey said. “I have a few outdoor vehicles.”

Tailored to his needs, the 2,800-square-foot “smart home” will have wider hallways for a wheelchair, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and the ability to control heating and air conditioning with an iPad.

“It will make a lot of small, everyday things easier,” Mr. Bailey said.

Mrs. Bailey added, “Being in a wheelchair, you have to think about spacing and doorways — the distance between the counter and the refrigerator to open it.

“I’m looking forward to the kitchen, so he can cook for me.”

Construction will take six to eight months and cost approximately $500,000.

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

Each service member 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.

“It’s really heartwarming that America would reach out and do this and help my son and other wounded warriors,” said his father, Larry Bailey Sr. “I’m so proud and he deserves this. I think it will be a beautiful home and meet all his needs.”
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Legit · June 10, 2016 at 10:25 am
I always thought the government studies were to determine how monkeys and great apes eat bananas upside down. The why is pretty obvious, bananas are dope and a good source of energy.
Tell It Like It Is · June 10, 2016 at 8:38 am
This marine is deserving and we owe it to him for his service and sacrifice.

I am very angry at the politicians that continually waste taxpayers money studying "why monkeys eat bananas" type programs and thus we have to have private organizations to take care of these brave men and women who have sacrificed.

I am disgusted at the lack of government support to our wounded warriors.

Every politician that has voted for a wasted money program to serve themselves or get something they want should be publically outed.

Perhaps someday we'll get some real statesman in government that may actually care about this country and that do not need anyone's money to get something done. Then we can "out" these self serving politician's from their gravy trains.

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