BRIGHTON TWP., Mich. (WLNS) -- Saturday marked a special homecoming for Sgt. Nick Koulchar. The U.S. Army veteran left Iraq years ago, but it wasn't until Saturday morning ground broke on the building of his new home.
"It's humbling," Koulchar said. "It just shows you that, you know, people do care, the communities care, and that goes a long way."
The former combat engineer lost both legs in 2008 after a bomb exploded near his military truck.
"I was doing my job and it was a bad day at work, I guess is the best way to put it," he said.
Koulchar spent two weeks in a coma and over two years at a medical center. It was there he heard of Homes For Our Troops.
"Most of these guys are in the hospital together, they're in therapy wards, so a lot of it is word of mouth," said Larry Gill, the Veteran's Liaison for Homes For Our Troops. "They're saying, 'hey, look up Homes For Our Troops, give them a call.'"
The Massachusetts-based organization helps veterans who come home from war with serious disabilities. In less than a decade, the non-profit has built more than 140 homes specially adapted to fit wounded veteran's needs.
"The community sees this as a new house, but it's so much more than that," Gill said. "With the accessibility, it renews his independence...To put a price on restoring his independence would be hard to do."
Koulchar said his new home will give him the freedom and serenity he desires. Instead of grieving over his injuries, he looks on the bright side, and enjoys hand cycling, hunting and spending time with his new wife.
"I enjoy life. I'm very happy. I'm thankful to be alive. I'm thankful to have the family that I have," Koulchar said.
Homes For Our Troops hopes to have Koulchar's home completed by the spring.