MELVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- He lost both his legs fighting for our country. Now an Army veteran on Long Island has received a new smart home designed specifically for his needs, and the community turned out to help him celebrate.
With all the fanfare of a hero's welcome, Army Corporal Chris Levi rolled up Pineridge Street in Melville for a day he will not forget.
Levi lost both his legs while serving in Iraq 10 years ago but never lost his will. And because of that, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation showed Levi, a Suffolk County native, the new, three-bedroom home he'll move into in Melville.
Levi's two adorable nieces even have their own room. But what's amazing is how this "smart home" was built specifically for him. Both the microwave and the stove top are easily adjustable. And the Corporal is obsessed, in a good way, with the cabinetry.
"Some days when you're all gone, I'm gonna be here, doin' this all day," he said as adjusted his new appliances.
As he made his way around, Levi and his family were truly overwhelmed by all the teamwork that made this possible.
"We knew one day he would protect his country," said his mother, Debbie Levi. "What we didn't know is what his country would do for him, and we're absolutely blessed."
"I don't feel I deserve any of it but I do hope to earn it," said Chris. "It means a lot. I am man enough to cry in front of a crowd, so if it happens it just happens."
Chris's mortgage will be paid for, but he'll still be paying taxes on this house, which won't be cheap. However, there is a program to reduce those taxes, a program for disabled vets.
But this 4th of July couldn't be a more appropriate time to move in, they say.
"Remember that we are only the land of the free because of the brave like Christopher Levi," said Frank Siller of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
And Chris is feeling right at home already.
* More Long Island news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
LI veteran who lost both legs in Iraq war receives new smart home