More than 100 volunteer to build home for injured veteran

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | 12:20 a.m. CST; updated 11:38 a.m. CST, Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doreen Lewis, a project facilitator for Homes for Our Troops, gives a presentation at a registration event at Lowe’s Home Improvement on Tuesday. The nonprofit organization, which builds specially adapted homes for disabled veterans, had more than 100 applications from volunteers who wanted to help build a new home in Columbia for Sgt. Robert Canine, who had both legs amputated after being injured in Baghdad.

COLUMBIA — At an event to recruit volunteers to help build a home for a local veteran, a national organization received more than 100 applications from people wanting to help.

Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds specially adapted houses for veterans who are paralyzed or have had amputations, spent much of Tuesday collecting applications from volunteers who wanted to help build a home in Columbia for Staff Sgt. Robert Canine. The recruiting event, held at Lowe’s Home Improvement, was the group’s first in Missouri.

Canine had both of his legs amputated after he was injured by an explosively formed projective in Baghdad last May. He has since returned home to his wife and 8-year-old son and is undergoing physical therapy.

Canine’s old house in Mexico, Mo., had three floors, which made mobility difficult for him. The new house, located in Columbia, will offer features such as ramps and barrier-free showers to help Canine live more comfortably.

Canine’s brother, Jamie Canine, said that Mexico was too small for his brother, and that the veteran hopes to go back to school to finish his degree.

Most of the volunteers were veterans themselves, said Tammy Parks, the Homes for Our Troops coordinator with the Missouri Credit Union Association. The association is a sponsor for the house, the first that Homes for Our Troops will be building in Missouri.

The project is in its initial stages, but is expected to be finished within the next two to three months. Canine is expected to move in to the new home with his family once his therapy is completed.



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