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‘So thankful:’ Cincinnati area veteran to be gifted custom built home Saturday

The home is specifically designed to return that sense of “freedom and independence” to injured veterans.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 9:20 PM EDT
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LOVELAND, OH (FOX19) - As a local veteran, Marine Corporal Joshua Sust put his life on the line for our country, and now a national non-profit is thanking him for his service with a new home that has been built to meet his needs.

A national non-profit called Homes For Our Troops, based out of Massachusetts, is responsible for the custom home in Loveland that will soon be gifted to Corporal Sust.

“Definitely think it’s going to be emotional as hell. There’s no doubt about that,” Sust said. “Being granted this beautiful new home that’s set up for me, but at the same time, you know, you’re always thinking about those that didn’t come home.”

Corporal Sust served our country in Afghanistan and was severely hurt in November 2011. He said his vehicle went over an IED, or an improvised explosive device, which left him with a wounded leg and arm, hearing loss and a traumatic brain injury.

In 2015, Sust had part of his injured leg amputated. Since then, he says he has been forced to use crutches to get around.

However, when he moves into his new home, he will no longer have to do that. There will be more than 40 adaptations in place within the home, including wider doorways, pull-down shelves and lower counter tops, designed to accommodate a wheelchair.

“Trying to get around in a two-story home where you can’t always use your wheelchair when you’d like to presents a lot of frustrations, a lot of challenges,” Ret. Brigadier General Tom Landwermeyer, CEO of Homes For Our Troops, said. “They [new homes] are specifically designed to restore that freedom and independence so the veteran can then take care of themselves and get on with rebuilding their lives.”

Although his fellow Americans consider him a hero, Sust remains humble about his service, and he says the generosity of others has inspired him to pay it forward by helping the non-profit give back to other veterans in the future.

“Like why do I deserve this amazing gift? I mean I’m nobody special. I had a bad day at work,” Sust said. “I’m so thankful, and like I said, I don’t think I’ve ever going to be able to pay this back in my lifetime, but I’ll do my damnedest to try.”

Sust will not have a mortgage and will get free financial planning for three years through the non-profit’s program. According to Landwermeyer, Sust’s home marks 317 houses that the organization has gifted to veterans.

The key gifting ceremony will take place at the house in Loveland on Saturday at 10 a.m. Sust said a fellow veteran and friend will be coming from Texas to be there, making it even more special.

To learn more about Homes For Our Troops, including how to apply or donate, visit the organization’s website.

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