BURRILLVILLE â€“ Marine Cpl. Kevin Dubois, a wounded warrior who lost both legs in Afghanistan, will soon be calling Burrillville home.
After a successful property closing in March, the Rhode Island Builders Association in partnership with Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops is preparing to build a free specially-adapted home for Dubois and his wife, Kayla, on Sherman Farm Road.
A special groundbreaking ceremony takes place Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m., at the construction site located at Lot 12 Sherman Farm Road. A fundraising barbecue, bake sale and raffle drawing will follow.
The 2,700-square-foot ranch style home will have four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. More importantly, the specially adapted home will provide maximum freedom of movement for Dubois and the ability to live more independently.
â€śHaving a specially adapted home will benefit me greatly because it will help improve my daily living challenges and my life overall,â€ť said Dubois, who will be given the keys to his new home after the project is completed. â€śI want to thank everyone involved for their support.â€ť
Two months ago, the town agreed to waive all town building permit fees in lieu of Dubois' service to his country â€“ service that has won him admiration from everyone whoâ€™s heard his story.
On July 31, 2011, during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dubois, a 24-year-old Lincoln native, was clearing a helicopter landing zone near Sangin, a Taliban hotbed in southern Afghanistan, to evacuate wounded soldiers when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost both of his legs at the hip.
Knocked unconscious by the blast, the helicopter that was previously dispatched arrived soon after the event, airlifting both Dubois and his injured teammate to Camp Bastion. He was next airlifted to Bagram Air Force Base where he required 14 units of blood in order to be stabilized for transport to Landstuhl, Germany.
Dubois was then airlifted stateside to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, before being transferred to Balboa Hospital in San Diego.
On the four-month anniversary of his injury, Dubois was approved for participation in a prosthetics program that custom crafts state-of-the-art mechanical limbs for patients.
Dubois, now 26, has since transitioned out of the military and has moved with his wife, Kayla, back to his native Rhode Island.
Duboisâ€™ new home in Burrillville will be built by the Rhode Island Builders Association, which operates Builders Helping Heroes, a non-profit initiative in which members of the RIBA donate their time, energy and resources to provide construction assistance to the families of military personnel injured or killed in armed conflict since Sept. 11, 2001.
Typical projects range from accessibility improvements such as installing a wheel chair ramp, to interior renovations.
Assisting in the project is Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization that raises money, building materials and professional labor to build home for severely injured veterans and their immediate families.
Builders Helping Heroes is financed with contributions from RIBA, the general public, local businesses, veteranâ€™s organizations and other governmental units. In addition to periodic project funding, RIBA funds ongoing administrative and organizational costs.
Financial support for the Dubois home project is welcome. Well-wishers can volunteer money for construction materials or donate their time to help in the actual construction. They can also hold a fundraising event of their own to raise money towards the project.
For more information on how to help, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.