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Local Vet Gets Keys To New Home

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

First Lieutenant Nathan Rimpf of Raleigh lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.  He received a Purple Heart and got two titanium legs when he returned. And on Thursday he'll be a new home owner.

Rimpf is the latest veteran to benefit from Operation: Coming Home-- a program that builds and donates houses for injured service members.  Tim Minton is President of the program. He says the home has been built to Americans with Disabilities Act standards -- complete with wider doorways, a wheelchair-accessible shower and a motorized stair lift.

"[Nathan] is very mobile for his injuries, but he's not able to wear those artificial limbs all the time," Minton said. "So we want to make sure he could be comfortable. Of all places you want to be comfortable, one is your own home. So we wanted to make sure we could build something he felt was his place."

This is the sixth house completed by Operation Coming Home. 

Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.
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