Operation Finally Home gives new home to wounded Texas soldier

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KVUE News Austin

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- Army Specialist Cody Nusbaum was severely wounded in Afghanistan.

In 2011, while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Nusbaum was shot by a Taliban insurgent.

"He got me from my calf to my hip and into my stomach through my back, and I was in the hospital for four months straight," Nusbaum said.

On the Kandahar Air Base, Cody was immediately taken into surgery. The surgeon said he stopped counting the gunshot wounds at 11, because they could no longer tell which was which.

His list of injuries was long, including a shattered hip (which needed to be pinned), a broken calf, a severed femoral artery, extensive injuries to the groin and anal area and additional stomach and back wounds. They also found grenade fragments, due to a nearby explosion.

It has been a long road to recovery for Nusbaum as he has been receiving medical treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio since Aug. 29, 2011.

Doctors said he would never walk again, but he did after 75 surgeries.

While he's on the road to recovery, volunteers in New Braunfels are making sure he has a place to call home.

On Sunday, they revealed to him the construction site of a new, mortgage-free house where Nusbaum can recover.

The Structural Building Components Association (SBCA), National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Building Systems Councils (BSC), Operation Finally Home and the members of the New Braunfels Home Builders Association have partnered to build a home for the wounded soldier.

Today, the soldier stepped inside his very own house.

"It's the best thing that's ever happened to me to be honest," Nusbaum said.

"Operation Finally Home builds homes for our wounded heroes and we give them away mortgage free," explained Dan Wallrath from Operation Finally Home.

They've completed 80 so far for deserving service members.

"It was such a blessing seeing Cody seeing his new house knowing he's put his life on the line," said volunteer Scott Ward from Shreveport, La. "It's touching being able to do something for him."

Cody's mother, Kim Nusbaum, said having a home is a relief for the family.

"You are worried about what he's going to do in the future so this is a big load off," she said.

Volunteers plan to finish the house's frame in three days and they hope to complete the entire home by February.

"I'm just thankful," Nusbaum said. "I honestly don't think I deserve something like this."

Currently, Nusbaum is in a physical therapy program where specialists are teaching him to use his legs again. He continues to strive for his short-term goal of walking and maintains his long-term goal of a career involving sports and continuing his education.

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