Community breaks ground on wounded warrior home

29 Aug 2013 | Pfc. Victor A. Arriaga

North Carolina Sen. Norman W. Sanderson and 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion Marines participated in a ground-breaking ceremony Friday in Oriental, N.C.

The site is slated for a home for a Marine wounded warrior. The future residents will be selected through an application process by the project’s sponsor, Military Missions in Action.

“I think everyone who came out today has a very special place in their hearts for military members,” said Sanderson. “It’s our responsibility as a nation, state and county to help them any way that we can.”

Russ J. Richard and his wife, Karen, owners of Nature’s Run Subdivision where the house will be built, donated a lot for the house. Construction is scheduled to begin next week and to be complete in December.

“I think it’s great that this home will be going to a Marine family,” said Richard. “When I moved here two and a half years ago, I woke up one morning and had an epiphany; I wanted to do something good for our heroes.”

2nd LAAD Marines signaled the beginning of the ceremony with a flag raising and the playing of the national anthem.

“I’m happy to be a part of something that this organization is doing to help Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Oscar D. Jordan, the battalion sergeant major. “The whole battalion was more than willing to help when I asked for volunteers and I am really proud of that.”

“I was glad I got chosen to do this,” said Sgt. Rico L. Rose, a LAAD gunner who helped raised the flag. “It’s a great thing they are doing. If asked again, I would do it in a heartbeat.”

Michael Dorman, executive director of MMIA, said that he chose the Marine Corps as the branch of choice because of the house’s close proximity to Cherry Point.

“Can you imagine handing the keys of a brand new, furnished home to a family and say ‘Here’s your home,’” said Dorman. “For me, it’s a little overwhelming to see this many people come out to support a mission that was just a dream. Now it’s reality.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point