Gary Sinise helps dedicate smart home to wounded veteran

Gary Sinise arrives for the 58th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 15, 2016. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

CHEVY CHASE, Md., Nov. 13 (UPI) — Actor and musician Gary Sinise helped present U.S. Army Capt. Luis Avila, a wheelchair-bound, Iraq War veteran, and his family with a new smart home.

CBS Baltimore reported scores of family, friends and neighbors also attended Friday’s dedication ceremony in Chevy Chase, Md.

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Photo Courtesy: Twitter

“It is my honor to be here to honor him and his family on this special day,” Sinise said. “Thank you for all you’ve given and for all you’ve sacrificed on behalf of this nation.”

The Avilas are the 15th military family this year to receive a home sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation.

“Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,” said Avila’s wife, Claudia.

“Had the honor to attend @GarySiniseFound home dedication, handing over the keys to wounded US Army Capt Luis Avila. God bless all who serve,” Sinise tweeted Friday.

The foundation’s website noted Avila served five combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq from the time he joined the Army in 2000.

“On December 27, 2011, while leading his team, a mounted improvised explosive device (IED) detonated nearby. Three of his fellow soldiers were killed by the blast and two others were severely wounded,” the website said. “Luis suffered an amputation of his left leg, two strokes, two heart attacks, and severe lack of oxygen which caused anoxic brain damage. Ultimately, he was left almost completely paralyzed. Luis was in a coma for 40 days. Although the doctors felt he would not recover, his wife Claudia and three sons stayed by his side. On Feb. 13, 2012, Luis opened his eyes for the first time. He continues his extensive therapy at Walter ReedNational Medical Center. Today, Luis continues to progress while maintaining a positive attitude and an incredible sense of humor. Luis and his family look forward to starting a new chapter in their lives in their specially adapted smart home.”

Sinise, 61, is best known for his roles in the films “Of Mice and Men,””Forrest Gump,” “Apollo 13” and “Ransom,” as well as in the TV shows “CSI: NY” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” He is also a vocal advocate for veterans.


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