Disabled NY vet gets "smart home" for Christmas

Posted at: 12/24/2012 9:31 AM
Updated at: 12/24/2012 12:46 PM
By: Associated Press

AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Tech Sgt. Joe Wilkinson is getting a new "smart home" for Christmas.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Gary Sinise Foundation teamed up to create the "Building for America's Bravest" program. It's planning an official ribbon-cutting Monday morning at the new home of 33-year-old Wilkinson and his family in Averill Park, near Albany.

The program has built homes across the country for service members severely injured in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Wilkinson has degenerative nerve damage believed to have been caused by toxic chemicals in Iraq. He's paralyzed from the waist down.

His family's four-bedroom "smart home" will feature the latest high-tech equipment.

Sinise played double-amputee Lt. Dan Taylor in "Forest Gump." He raises money for disabled vets through charity concerts with his Lt. Dan Band.