A Las Vegas man followed a family tradition of military service into Iraq. He ended up coming home with one working arm, a brain injury and post traumatic stress.
The Purple Heart recipient was forced to move in with his parents to make ends meet, but now he and his son have a new place to call home.
Justin Gulde saw the inside of his new home for the first time Monday.
A construction team, corporate sponsors, family and friends were all there to welcome him into his new home.
Gulde remembers all too well the day that changed his life forever. It was Thanksgiving five years ago, his first day off in weeks while serving in Iraq.
The U.S. Army Specialist was relaxing in his bunk
“I got hit by a Chinese rocket, probably three feet away from me, blew shrapnel all throughout my head, down my side and into my arm,” he said.
Gulde came back home with a brain injury and post traumatic stress.
He could not find work as a mechanic forcing him and his son to move in with his parents.
“It’s hard to find a job where you work with your hands and you only have one working hand,” Gulde said.
Once again Gulde’s life has changed.
Building Homes for Heroes welcomed the Purple Heart recipient into his new two-story, three bedroom home with a spacious backyard.
Handles, faucets, and rails were designed keeping his injury in mind. There is even a play area for his 8-year-old son.
“He actually said this was on his wish list, because he’d like to have a play area for his little boy, because with all the stuff he’s been through, the little boy has been through it as well,” said Vicky Liu, construction team leader.
Gulde couldn’t keep his son off of the swings and slide.
“I love the backyard including that water thing,” said Darien Gulde.
“That was a big moment, seeing him playing back here, he’s never had a backyard this big so it is awesome to see him have something to run around and play in,” Justin Gulde said.
The first memories are already being made in his new home.
Gulde is one of four Purple Heart recipients in the United States to receive a home before Veterans Day this year.
Chase Bank donates foreclosed homes to Building Homes for Heroes.
The Luxor engineering team, Air Supply Incorporated, and several other organizations made the home possible.
Besides a Purple Heart, Gulde also received the Combat Action Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and Army Service ribbon.