Helping our troops: Volunteer group helps at home for Ryan Sykes
Nearly 100 volunteers descended upon the home of retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Ryan Sykes’ for a work day helping to lay down 11,000 square feet of sod.
The home, being built by the organization Homes for our Troops, is equipped with lower countertops, wide halls, a safe room and a generator that kicks on when the power goes out, among many other adaptations designed for veterans with disabilities.
The task took about an hour to complete. Afterwards Sykes and the volunteer group posed for a photo.
“Thank you. I know that it’s a lot of work,” Sykes said as he addressed the group. “It looks good, it turned out well, so thank you very much. I do appreciate it.”
On March 3, 2008, while on his fifth deployment to Afghanistan, Sykes sustained a traumatic brain injury and other life-threatening injuries, including a collapsed lung, facial fractures, damage to his bicep and pneumonia.
Today, now medically retired, Sykes maintains an active lifestyle, working towards his cycle training for the U.S. Paralympics and being able to walk again.
The home’s construction is slated to be complete by late January, when Sykes is hoping to move in.
Penn Valley Homes for our Troops recipients Cody and Shanna Rice were also on hand during Saturday’s volunteer work day to show their support for Sykes and the Homes for our Troops organization.
The two have been living in their special adaptive home for about a year now.
“It’s such a blessing to have the house,” Cody Rice said, adding that the house has already helped him overcome issues.
“Before I was limited to just the couch or wheelchair,” Rice said.
The Rices’ whole house generator has also come in handy during power outages over the summer.
“The power goes out, the family comes over,” Rice said jokingly.
To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230
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