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Volunteers Build Home On S.I. For Iraq War Vet

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Brendan Marrocco (credit: CBS 2)

Brendan Marrocco (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Volunteers unveiled a labor of love for Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco. He lost both arms and both legs 26 months ago when an explosive hit his vehicle in Iraq, and spent the last two years in physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

On Saturday, family and friends gave 25-year-old Marrocco a homecoming at a house designed especially for him on Staten Island.

“It still doesn’t feel real to me. It really hasn’t from the beginning, but it’s amazing, really, for me to have a place as my own,” he said. “Without them this wouldn’t be possible.”

Among those spearheading the effort are his brothers in injury, the group Building Homes for Heroes, and the family of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller who died on 9/11.

“You’re filled with such emotion when you do something like this. It just brings out the best in everybody,” said Frank Siller of the Stephen Siller Children’s Foundation.

Inside Brendan’s new home, the kitchen counters lower automatically and the cabinets drop out. Everything is designed for Brendan’s comfort.

Even the outside of the house is tailored specifically for Brendan. The ramps are heated so the snow melts away in the winter, and the front yard isn’t grass. It’s gravel, so it requires virtually no maintenance.

“My boys are home. They’re home now. It’s been a long time coming and I didn’t think it would be this long and I’m just so thankful,” said Michelle Marrocco, Brendan’s mother.

“We’re going to get involved in supporting wounded veterans, wounded soldiers and we’re going to pay back and do for them what’s been done for Brendan,” Alex Marrocco, Brendan’s father, promised.

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