Twenty-three-year-old Derek Gagne lost most of one leg, half a foot, and part of his vision while serving in Iraq several years ago. But one thing he hasn't lost is hope.
He purchased a home at 910 6th Avenue in Menominee, where he preps for business classes at U.W. Marinette. But with Gagne's condition, the house needed a few adjustments, and that's where Rebuilding Together of Green Bay came in.
"We just kind of made the first floor easily accessible so he can concentrate on his studies and so he can concentrate on getting on with his life," said Rebuilding Together of Green Bay's President, Mark Bonovetz.
Members of the non-profit organization say when they heard Gagne's story, they had to help.
"He's paid his dues to this country," Bonovetz said. "He has given just about the ultimate sacrifice that he can give, and this is our way of paying him back."
They applied for a $10,000 grant from Sears' Heroes at Home program to fund the project. Ultimately, Sears awarded them $50,000 to rewire, repaint and revamp Gagne's home.
"It makes everything I did worthwhile," said Gagne. "It makes us feel appreciated; makes me feel really appreciated."
The Green Bay Fire Department is also pitching in by building a large garage in Gagne's backyard for his beloved stock car.
Construction began last November and is expected to be finished by this Wednesday afternoon, when Rebuilding Together and Heroes at Home will hold a dedication.
Rebuilding Together says they need all the help they can get in order to complete the home for Wednesday's dedication. You can visit the site between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this Monday and Tuesday to lend a helping hand.