JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Doors are opening for Private First Class Jeff Taylor. He is beaming with excitement as he gives a tour of his new house. A home that he is getting completely free from Purple Heart Homes.
"I keep trying to picture it, but I can't even picture it in my head. I know it is going to be gorgeous, but I can't even picture it when it is done," said PFC Taylor with a smile.
Purple Heart Homes is a nonprofit organization that helps service-connected disabled veterans. PFC Taylor joined the Army after the September 11th terror attacks, then in April of 2003, he was hit by mortars at Saddam Airport.
"It blew our truck into a drainage ditch at the airport and it killed the three guys I was with and broke my leg in four places," said PFC Taylor.
The mobile home he and his family are living in now just doesn't work well with injuries.
"There are steps going up and my legs give out sometimes," he explains.
So Purple Heart Homes is renovating a house donated by Bank of America for free and are hoping to get the community involved in the process.
"It is more than just giving them a home, it is about them integrating into the local community so they can take ownership of the community themselves," said retired Sgt. Major Earl Richburg, the volunteer regional director of Purple Heart Homes.
They are still hammering out some of the final design details, but the TV show "Designing Spaces" is also on hand to help PFC Taylor and his family decorate their new home.
Richburg said this is all about improving the quality of life for a person who proudly served our country and he would love to see people of all ages come out and lend a hand on PFC Taylor's home.
GE Aviation is starting the volunteering and will have employees begin working on the home on Saturday morning.
If you want to get involved, you can come to the volunteer and official kick-off day on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Access Church on Losco Road. You can also sign up online at www.purplehearthomesusa.org.
First Coast News