Updated: 06/12/2014 5:42 PM KSTP.com By: Heidi Enninga
Photo: KSTP-TV/Todd Wilson
Defensive end Jared Allen may have traded his purple and gold Vikings jersey for the Chicago Bears' orange and blue, but he hasn't given up his loyalties to wounded veterans in Minnesota.
Allen was back in his former state Thursday morning as his foundation, Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, broke ground in Minnetrista, Minnesota, on it's first-ever, built-from-scratch home.
Colin Faust, the beneficiary for the home and United States Marine Corp veteran, lost his leg when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in the Northern Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
The explosion severely injured his right leg and left arm, but long hours in rehab have allowed him the ability to walk, go back to school and even have an internship with the Vikings.
Faust lives in a small patio home that isn't accessible for his wheelchair and said he's grateful for the gift he's being given.
"It's an incredible feeling that someone has the heart and generosity to take their fame and wealth and do something for good," Faust said.
The foundation is partnering with the local Carpenters Union, Floor Covering Union, Cement Masons Union, Tile Setters/Brick Layers Union, Electricians Union and Homeco Insulators.
After he returned from a 2009 trip to U.S. military bases in the Middle East, Allen said he was moved by the soldiers he met and their commitment to protect freedom and decided to create a foundation that would make the lives of wounded vets easier.
The foundation builds and remodels homes of deserving wounded veterans.
"We've done a lot of acquired homes, remodeling and stuff like that. So we are excited to be able to give Colin his dream home and a home that's going to function for him for the rest of his life," Allen said.
Allen said the build should take not longer than 4-6 months.