A war veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan received a big gift just in time for the holidays Tuesday as he was given the keys to a brand new North Tonawanda home built by hundreds of local volunteers. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on Marine Corporal Paul Schaus and the place he now calls home.
NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — "I think I can get used to it and call it home one day," new homeowner Paul Schaus said.
A home constructed by hundreds of volunteers over the last six months. A home Marine Corporal Paul Schaus was officially given the keys to Tuesday.
"We put up the whole shell in one weekend and we've just been working ever since then. So many people donated," Schaus’ cousin Jodi Buckley said.
They donated time, energy, material, even the lot the four-bedroom home sits on in North Tonawanda as a way of giving back to the 24-year-old who gave so much for his country.
"Paul gave his limbs as he fought to protect other members of his team,” Maria Lehman, a representative for Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. “When Paul was injured, his fellow Marines worked together as a team to save his life."
A life family Buckley said he's living to the fullest, playing for the USA Warriors hockey team with plans to go on to college – after his big move in.
"Finally moving in! This is his, you know, that's kind of crazy that this whole house is his," she said.
It's a home designed by the Build Brigade especially for the Afghan war vet, who lost both his legs in 2009. The non-profit builds custom homes for severely injured vets and comes with custom appliances, a walk in shower and Schaus' favorite space.
"The kitchen, it's big, it's got a lot of nice features," he said.
All of which Schaus can start to use as early as Wednesday when he plans to move out of his mother's home.
"It's amazing, the way they put it together and the way it's laid out. It's everything I need to be independent on my own,” he laughed. "What 23-year-old, 24-year-old wants to live at home with their mom? It helps out getting your own house definitely."