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Wounded warrior gets new home

Updated: Wednesday, August 7 2013, 06:25 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

MECHANICSBURG -- Sgt.Dennis Leonard of Hummelstown could not fall asleep last night. He was excited, anxious, and above all, knew his life would be changing...again. 

In 2007, while on his second active-duty tour in Iraq, Leonard was attacked by a hidden IED. It was an explosion that killed his troop commander while leaving Leonard without legs.

“Everybody in that patrol never saw the explosion,” said Leonard. “Once I woke up in a field hospital, that’s where I knew what my injuries were.”

After a call home to his mother to tell her what happened, Leonard had several surgeries and physical therapy treatments. While he retired in 2009, Leonard decided he and his  8-year-old son, Ethan, would move back to Central Pennsylvania. 

Since then, he’s lived with his parents. But, that’s where the Helping Our Heroes organization comes into play to change his life for the better. is an organization that works in conjunction with the local communities to build and adapt homes for severely-wounded veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

On Wednesday, Leonard got his. 

After a homecoming ceremony featuring local officials and former Pittsburgh Steelers football player Lynn Swann, Leonard entered his home – furnished, to his surprise – and he couldn’t help but become emotional. 

“Now, being in the home that I can access and not worry about squeezing into places, I can get back into,” said Leonard. This new home boast handicapped-accessibility entrances, including ramps, as well as an elevator. In the basement, there’s a room for him to open up a gunsmith shop. 

Donors included Deimler & Sons Building and several local and national companies for their supplies to the home. 

For more information about the program, visit warrior gets new home

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