Patrick Co., VA - For nearly two years now, people have been hard at work raising money to build a new "smart house" for one of our Heroes From the heart of Virginia-- Patrick County's JB Kerns.
Kerns is a triple amputee who nearly killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011.
Thursday, there was a big milestone in the effort to pay back Corporal Kerns for his sacrifice.
The project has no shortage of contributors that, in the end, will allow the young Marine to move even closer to a normal life that was almost lost on the battlefield more than two years ago.
Ever since JB Kerns nearly died in combat overseas, the simple things in life have become the best things to cherish.
Those luxuries include the sights and sounds of the Ararat River - in rural Patrick County - a resource that will soon be the backdrop for a home promised.
"I love it. I've got a piece of property that I love. They're going to build me a log home like I want with a massive porch. You know, that's the important thing... I have to have a big porch," said Kerns.
It won't be just any house. On 16-acres, the "smart" log home will be loaded with the latest technology designed to make Kerns's life just a little easier.
" For certain things I won't have to call my Mom to come help me and stuff. I should be able to do everything in the house on my own, so it will make me a lot more independent," said Kerns.
Carol Young was tasked with designing the home --a project that has a special place in her heart.
"It's about freedom. So we are giving him that freedom back he sacrificed his limbs for us... so we have that freedom and we're giving it back," said young.
Back to a Marine that is claimed by an entire community thankful for his service and sacrifice.
A sacrifice that cost him limbs, his friends and his youth.
Making this $500,000 "Thank You" card the least this community could do in return.
"I think that we miss out on the fact that Americans are still Americans and we don't get back into the grass roots of who we really are as people. And when something like this happens... everybody goes, 'Yeah, this is what it's all about," said Young.
The list of support for this project runs deep but was primarily driven by the "Tunnel to Towers Foundation" and the Gary Sinise Foundation; both partners in the "Building For America's Bravest" program.
If everything goes as planned... organizers say they hope J-B will be having a BBQ on his back deck by the Fourth of July.
Edited Note - I erroneously listed Cpl. Kerns' year of injury as 2009. He was actually wounded in action in 2011.