Iraq War Veteran gets new home
By Michael Isam
MSgt John Hayes and his family officially became St Johns County residents yesterday; having received what his benefactors, Homes for Our Troops, consider “a down payment” from a grateful public for his sacrifice during the Iraq War.
During a tour of duty in Iraq, Hayes came in close proximity to an Improvised Explosive Device that detonated; claiming both of his legs.
“Before the explosion, I could literally carry my entire family on my back,” Hayes said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Those days are gone; but now, I can carry them in a different way — we have a permanent home.”
The non-profit organization, Homes for Our Troops, builds specially-designed homes for severely injured veterans. For example, Hayes has a specially designed track system built into the ceiling to transport him between bedroom and bathroom. “I have my own personal monorail,” said Hayes. And each of his children have a room of their own, painted in their own choice of color.
If you ever wonder what it is like to be in the spotlight, follow John Hayes and his family for a couple of hours. Television crews, reporters, photographers, politicians and more well-wishers than one could really count, descended on the new home for Hayes and his family. The “official” count put the attendance at nearly 200 for the presentation of the keys to their new home.
With most of the excitement behind him now, except for physical therapy sessions, Hayes says that he is looking forward to spending much more time at home with his wife and children.