STICKNEY, Ill. (CBS) — A U.S. Marine whose career was cut short by a traumatic brain injury was getting his Stickney home refurbished by volunteers to make it more comfortable and accessible.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports a crew of about 100 volunteers from Hope Depot were putting the finishing touches on Greg Rodriguez’s rebuilt home Friday morning.
“One of our core values is giving back to the community, and especially giving back to the veterans,” said Chris Oleksyn, manager of the Home Depot in Downers Grove.
In 2006, Rodriguez was a sergeant in the Marines, with a tour in Iraq under his belt, and was about to redeploy when a pickup truck hit his car in San Diego. He was in a coma for weeks, and hospitalized for more than a year, having suffered a traumatic brain injury in the wreck.
He’s still dealing with the lingering effects of that injury. He had to re-learn how to walk and speak.
Bart Zamora, an army veteran and Home Depot associate, met Rodriguez at the Valor Games at Soldier Field.
“He does the shot put, which is amazing. His disabilities affect all kinds of functions that we take for granted,” he said.
Rodriguez has won the admiration of many for his determination, not only to get on with life, but also to help others with similar injuries.
Stickney Mayor Deborah Morelli said, “It makes us all feel good to see that he’s getting a good welcoming home.”