BOTTINEAU COUNTY, ND -- Authorities say a motorcyclist died when he failed to negotiate a curve on a road near Lake Metigoshe. The North Dakota Highway Patrol says 28-year-old Derek Thompson, of Rolette, died in the Saturday afternoon accident. The…
Local Iraq War Veteran Set To Receive A Free Home
A local veteran is getting a new home.
The construction kicks off with a ceremony at the American Legion Post 21 in Moorhead.
The recipient of the new home is Master Sergeant Eric Marts.
He’s a Moorhead local and he says this new home is going to dramatically improve his family’s lives.
Eric Marts served in Fallujah with the 34th Infantry Division.
He survived not one but two blasts from IED’s during his deployment.
Tragically the second explosion caused traumatic brain injury that cost him his sight.
Ever since, he and his wife Bobbie have been learning to cope with the new set of challenges that come with Eric’s injury.
“Just stumbling and falling like getting out of the bathtub I’ve always got to reach and feel for things,” says Marts.
The small hallways in his current home also prove to be a challenge for his seeing–eye dog.
Thanks to the organization Homes for Our Troops, this is all about to change.
Right now this may just be an empty field but come spring time Eric Marts new home will be standing here and there’s a number of reasons why this location is ideal.
For starters the fact it’s in Moorhead.
Eric’s children and grandchildren all live in or near town.
He says there’s no place he’d rather be.
“I’ve been a lot of places and lived out of my duffle bags and did a lot of traveling. This place is just so special, its home,” says Marts.
The home will be equipped with dozens of special features that will help Eric on a daily basis.
Guard rails, flat doorways, zero threshold showers and smart technology which will allow him to control things like lights and air conditioning with his voice, just to name a few.
And as for his partner, wider doorways will help his dog lead him through the home.
“It’ll provide him with opportunities to do his job the proper way and plus I’m sure he won’t mind a big yard to play catch in,” says Marts.
The Homes for Our Troops President Tim McHale says the organization doesn’t think of these projects as charity.
“We see it as a moral obligation to give back some freedom and independence that our veterans gave up for us when they were on the battlefield,” says Tim McHale, CEO of Homes For Troops.
And although Eric’s loss of sight is still going to create challenges for him as he goes through life, this new home will give him back some of that independence his injury took from him.
Master Sergeant Eric Mart says he wants to thank the people of Moorhead and Homes for Our Troops for all of their support and help.