Acts of Kindness

Marine lost both of his legs in Afghanistan, so actor Gary Sinise built him a custom smart home

November 5th, 2019

Jonathon Blank served our country as a marine in Afghanistan and paid a very dear price with both of his legs.

At just 32-years-old, Jonathon was now on a very hard and long road to recovery that was certainly going to be anything but easy. Not only was the emotional toll an extreme one, but to add to that, the medical and rehabilitation costs were exorbitant.

Thankfully for this heroic marine, Gary Sinise the beloved Forrest Gump actor reached out to Jonathon wanting to help. Gary Sinise is well-known for his compassion, kindness, and philanthropy and his foundation – Gary Sinise Foundation – wanted to help take some of the burdens off of Jonathon.

The Gary Sinise Foundation told Jonathon that they would like to build and gift him a custom-made home.

After receiving the news, Jonathon told a local news station that this amazing gift has made the “next phase of life much easier.”

“It’s such an incredible gift,” he continued. “Even some of those tough guys, when they found out about this, they got pretty emotional about it.”

Jonathon’s journey began with the Marin Corps when he joined in 2006 after graduating high school. It was four years later that he would serve in Afghanistan and lose both of his legs in a blast that also left shrapnel injuries to his head and arms.

To this day, Jonathon still suffers from chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, and more.

“The world is not meant for people with disabilities,” he said. “It’s just a hard truth and that’s something that I’ve dealt with every day since I was injured.”

Sinise who plays a disabled vet Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump has already built nearly 60 homes for wounded veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation. Jorgenson Builders constructs the homes through the foundation and are very much looking forward to Jonathon’s custom-build project.

“We really have to be thinking about how they are going to access each of the levels of the house,” Jorgenson said.

His new custom-made home will be completely energy-efficient, have remote-controlled light fixtures and shades, and voice-activated technology around the home – specifically in the kitchen.

Brittney Harris, Jonathon’s girlfriend is ecstatic to see the improvement the home makes on his life.

“He’s dragging, hauling all his stuff up and down the stairs all the time,” she said. “Nothing slows him down, but just to imagine cupboards that he can pull down and reach rather than having to jump up there — it’s going to be such a huge difference for him.”

He and his girlfriend currently live in a 3-bedroom home and even though their new home will most likely need to be two-levels due to the topography of where they live, Jorgeson is going to be sure to install a lift to make it easy for Jonathon to go from one floor to another. Jonathon has made it a point to be a part of the planning of the home as much as possible.

“Honestly, I didn’t really know that I would be so involved with the planning and the layout of the building,” he said

Jonathon and his girlfriend couldn’t be more grateful for the generous gift that the Gary Sinise Foundation has given them and we hope the house brings them so much joy.

Thank you for your service, Jonathon!

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Source: Newsner