Quantcast

Paralyzed Marine breaks ground on dream house in Jacksonville - abc27 WHTM

Paralyzed Marine breaks ground on dream house in Jacksonville

Posted: Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -

Ben Tomlinson got a look at his future independence on Tuesday afternoon.

The 26-year-old veteran of the Marine Corps broke ground on his new Jacksonville "Smart House."  Tomlinson was shot in the back in May 2010, while serving as a Marine Sergeant in Afghanistan.  He became paralyzed from the chest down.

The Building for America's Bravest Program selected Tomlinson to receive a custom home designed to accommodate his wheelchair and other needs.  The program is a partnership between the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation.

"It's unbelievable, isn't it?  It's something that a lot of people have to work their whole lifetime to be able to own their own house," Tomlinson said.

"It's a lifelong dream and pursuit so I'm kind of getting a big head start on this.  It's been great."

Tomlinson returned to Jacksonville in January 2012 and moved in with his parents.  His new three-bedroom house will be next door.  The hallways will be wider than those in most homes.  The cabinets will raise and lower to Tomlinson's height, and the countertops will also have adjustable levels.

He will also have a control pad on a portable smart phone or tablet device.

"I know I can operate a lot of things from an iPad or an iPhone.  Climate control, windows, lights, doors, different kitchen appliances, obviously electronics in the house, such as the TV," Tomlinson said.

"It's going to make the independent part of my life a lot easier.  I can't wait to get in there and see what I can do with all the technology they put in there."

Donors include Veteran's United, AOD Federal Credit Union, General Electric, Carpet One, Shubert Design, Semper Fi Fund, and Hope For The Warriors.   There was also a benefit concert in Jacksonville in May 2013, including a performance by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.  Members of the community contributed funds for the construction as well.

In addition to the traditional tossing of dirt, the builders knocked down the first tree as part of Tuesday's ceremony.  Tomlinson is a graduate of nearby Jacksonville High School, and the entire student body walked down the street to attend the groundbreaking.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Auburn University offering $10,000 reward for tips about campus threats

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:16:00 GMT
    Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus. Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for recent threats made on campus.
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
    After two incidents of threats within the past week that have disrupted classes and campus operations, Auburn University is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.More >>
  • Missing teen reported in Cullman County

    Missing teen reported in Cullman County

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:51:20 GMT
    A teenager has been reported missing in Cullman County, according to Nixle.com report posted Tuesday afternoon.Billy Ray Wren, 18, was last seen Monday morning near Hired Hand Inc. in Bremen, Ala. He is described as a 6-foot-1, 153-pound male with brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information regarding Wren's whereabouts is asked to please call the sheriff's office at 256-746-0342.More >>
    A teenager has been reported missing in Cullman County, according to Nixle.com report posted Tuesday afternoon.Billy Ray Wren, 18, was last seen Monday morning near Hired Hand Inc. in Bremen, Ala. He is described as a 6-foot-1, 153-pound male with brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information regarding Wren's whereabouts is asked to please call the sheriff's office at 256-746-0342.More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:28:29 GMT
    ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
  • UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    UPDATE: Recycling limitations in City of Birmingham

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:53:58 GMT
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
    It will take about two more weeks before full recycling resumes in the City of Birmingham.Since April 2, the city has only picked up paper and cardboard for recyclable material. That's because the Birmingham Recycling and Recovery facility sustained damages in a fire last month, which limited services.A City Spokesperson says people can take their items, including those made of glass, to the Alabama Environmental Council Recycling Center.That facility is located at the corner of 25th Street a...More >>
  • Walker County teenager dies in ATV crash

    Walker County teenager dies in ATV crash

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:27 PM EDT2014-04-22 20:27:21 GMT
    Authorities say a Walker County girl died after being thrown from an ATV during a crash on Easter Sunday.More >>
    Authorities say a Walker County girl died after being thrown from an ATV during a crash on Easter Sunday.
    More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:24:15 GMT
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
  • Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:26:24 GMT
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.More >>
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.
    More >>
  • Roanoke family forced out of home by sewage fumes

    Roanoke family forced out of home by sewage fumes

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-04-21 23:57:43 GMT
    Fumes from raw sewage in the basement of a Randolph County house sent the homeowner to the hospital Friday.Charles Ester said sludge started to spew into the bottom floor of his house on April 11. There was some sewage repair work up the hill from Ester's home at Handley High School, and tubing ran from a manhole by the school to the manhole by his house. Ester and his wife Evella believe the work there led to the overflow in the pipe under their house.It previously happened in 2007 but this ...More >>
    Fumes from raw sewage in the basement of a Randolph County house sent the homeowner to the hospital Friday.Charles Ester said sludge started to spew into the bottom floor of his house on April 11. There was some sewage repair work up the hill from Ester's home at Handley High School, and tubing ran from a manhole by the school to the manhole by his house. Ester and his wife Evella believe the work there led to the overflow in the pipe under their house.It previously happened in 2007 but this ...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow