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House for disabled war veteran breaks ground in Gilbert

Construction on the home is expected to be finished by October.

GILBERT, Ariz. — Representatives from the non-profit Helping a Hero were out bright and early in Gilbert Monday morning to help bring a one-of-a-kind gift to a literal hero.

The non-profit broke ground on a specially designed wheelchair-accessible home for double amputee and Iraq war veteran Brent Bretz.

Bretz joined the Army in October 2000 and trained at Fort Benning in Georgia. After that, he was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington.

His unit deployed to Iraq as a Quick Reaction Force, where he served as a sniper.

On Dec. 19, 2004, Bretz lost both legs in Mosul, Iraq, when his supply truck hit an improvised explosive device.

Bretz was left with multiple permanent injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, burns, and loss of hearing in his left ear, along with a fused elbow.

But that devastating injury didn't stop Bretz from moving forward.

"Since being injured, I have never had an adapted home," said Bretz. "Knowing that in a few months, I will have freedom in my home and be able to take a shower alone and be safe is just amazing."

Bretz said the new home will help him devote more time to his own non-profit that helps build temporary housing for homeless vets.

Construction is expected to be finished by October. The home will be fully wheelchair accessible and have three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The house comes thanks to help from Helping a Hero along with Capital One, Bass Pro Shops, and others.

Helping a Hero was founded in 2006. The organization supports military personnel severely injured in the war on terror and "strives to engage the community in providing services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families." 

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