News 12 6 o'clock / Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A year-long battle to get a handicap-accessible home built for Sgt. First Class Sean Gittens finally came to a happy ending on Saturday.
Back in 2007, Sgt. Gittens became paralyzed. This, after three tours overseas and injuries from a series of IED blasts.
Homes for Our Troops stepped in to build him a new house last year. The Knob Hill neighborhood association had a few issues with the design of the home.
On Saturday at a new location in a different neighborhood, the family received their key and started moving into their new house.
Their journey was long but well worth the wait for the Gittens family.
"I love it. It's going to make life so much easier for us," said Sharon Gittens, Sean's wife.
Daughter Monique Bramwell added, "Feel blessed to have this home for him, it's going to make our lives easier."
President of Homes for Our Troops Kenneth Preston was at the key ceremony.
"It's very gratifying to see the process we've gone through," he said.
That process started in the spring of last year, but complications in the Knob Hill community led them down North Tubman Road.
"It shows the community appreciates my husband," Mrs. Gittens said. "Everyone is here to show thanks for what he's done for his country."
With a prayer and the presentation of the keys, the family officially moved in as they walked through doors of their home.
"Now he has a home where he doesn't have to be in the living room sleeping anymore. He'll have access to the entire house," Sharon explained.
"Sometimes you really don't know everybody has your back, really feels like sometimes everyone is against you," Monique said.
During the ceremony, though, the community turned out to show their support for the man that helped fight for their country.
"From the time of Sean's injury to his time in the hospital. Now to come through this long process of getting their own house, really gives back the freedom and independence Sean and his family needs in order to reintegrate as a family," Preston said.
Sheray Bramwell, the family's other daughter, said, "It was hard to see him get injured, to see him in a hospital was really hard for us."
Today, the feelings were different.
"It's a heartwarming feeling, I'm so excited," Sharon said.
The home will be mortgage free for the family. They are planning on moving their furniture and belongings in this week.
Homes for Our Troops says this is the 114th home they have helped build for severely wounded veterans.