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Paralyzed Dutchess Veteran Parachutes Onto Lawn Of New Home

Millerton resident Stephen Valyou, a U.S Army veteran, was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in 2007 in Iraq during a mission to locate explosives.
Millerton resident Stephen Valyou, a U.S Army veteran, was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in 2007 in Iraq during a mission to locate explosives. Photo Credit: ourbravest.org

MILLERTON, N.Y. – Stephen Valyou, who was wounded while fighting in Iraq, didn’t let his injuries stop him from making a dramatic entrance in Millerton recently, according to a report by The Poughkeepsie Journal.

The 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran, former firefighter, and father of two, literally leaped into his new life on Thursday, June 23, by parachuting onto the lawn of a custom-designed home made for him by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

He was greeted by cheering friends and family members waiting on the ground, The Poughkeepsie Journal story said.

According to the foundation, Valyou was conducting explosive ordnance disposal operations in 2007 when he was shot by a sniper and paralyzed.

According to the foundation, Valyou’s new, specially adapted, home was constructed with funds from its Building for America’s Bravest program.

The program serves members of the military, and others, who have suffered catastrophic injuries.

The foundation began as a memorial to New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, a father of five who had been on his way to play golf with his brothers on Sept. 11, 2001, when he heard on his scanner that something had happened at the World Trade Center, according to the foundation’s website.

He strapped on 60 pounds of gear and made his way on foot from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero.

He, and other members of his squad, were all killed when the towers collapsed.

The foundation said it started building Smart Homes for veterans in 2011. The first one was built for Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco, a quadruple amputee.

Just two years later, it had completed or broken ground for 23 such homes across the country, the foundation said.

The homes are tailored to the needs of recipients, the foundation said, and have automated doors and lighting, showers that accommodate wheelchairs, and counters that can be raised and lowered.

In Valyou’s new abode, the heating and other systems can be controlled by an iPad, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

To read The Poughkeepsie Journal article, click here.

To read more about the foundation and program, click here.

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