Deserving soldier gets surprise with new home - KCTV5

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Deserving soldier gets surprise with new home

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Often times it's tough for soldiers returning home from service to get re-established in their community. And it can be especially difficult for injured soldiers to adjust.

That's why there's Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, a program that helps injured soldiers get free homes, and on Tuesday one Kansas City soldier benefited.

When Kansas City native Corey Leach came home from Afghanistan, finding a new home wasn't his first concern.

"When I got injured I was cut across the throat and my eye was pretty messed up," Leach said.

He was injured by a roadside bomb. He was blinded in one eye, faced six surgeries to remove shrapnel from his neck and needed months of recovery. After all that, he never expected the surprise awaiting him when he got home.

A police and Patriot Guard escort took him to his new home.

"I promise this will be the most noise I make in this neighborhood for a while," he jokingly said.

It's a program called Homes 4 Wounded Heroes. The goal is to reward 1,000 injured soldiers returning home with a free home and a chance to start fresh.

Bank of America donated this home to Military Warriors Support Foundation.

Leach found out about the program after meeting another injured soldier in a San Antonio hospital and could not believe when they chose him.

"Oh my gosh, this is awesome," he said.

"It takes one piece of the puzzle off their shoulders that they have to worry about," said Linda Lenza with Bank of America.

In many ways the new home marks the end of a 2 1/2-year recovery for Leach. It was a journey filled with too many questions for one man to answer, but the new home answers a lot of them.

"A big weight off my shoulders. I don't have to worry about a lot of things when I get out," he said.

"It's been a long journey. I know there are other guys out there that have been through a lot, and I hope they can all benefit from something like this," said Jackie Leach, Corey Leach's mom.

"I'd be willing to bet this young man is going to take this and pay it forward," said Patriot Guard member TJ Hummel.

Corey Leach is still on active duty and he'll be set for honorable discharge in about two months.

He has to head back to San Antonio to finish out his service. Then he says he'll be moving into his new home. After that, Corey Leach plans to start college and hopefully be a teacher and wrestling coach someday.

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