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A true homecoming
Ceremony Saturday welcomes injured vet
Troop Build cpl lindsey
Cpl. Joshua Lindsey, left, talks with Tracy Froebel, center, and landscape architect Chris Sears during a visit to his home site last winter. Lindsey will get the keys to his volunteer-built north Forsyth home from national nonprofit Homes for Our Troops during a key ceremony Saturday morning. - photo by File photo
If you’re going:

• When: 11 a.m. Saturday
• Where: 5220 Kendall’s Way in Cumming
• Online: www.homesforourtroops.org/Lindsey
Cpl. Joshua Lindsey will be arriving in Forsyth County on Saturday and heading straight to his new wheelchair-accessible home.

The injured U.S. Army veteran will get the keys to his volunteer-built north Forsyth house from national nonprofit Homes for Our Troops during a morning key ceremony.

It will be his first look at the property since the kickoff build brigade volunteer weekend in February, when the home’s foundations and structure began to go up.

“I’m extremely excited,” said Lindsey, 24. “I don’t have any expectations, though. It’s going to be an accessible house that’s going to be beautiful.”

The home features wider doorways and hallways, automatic doors, roll-under stove tops and sinks, no stairs and a roll-in shower, said project manager Amber Hewes.

Since February, more than 500 local volunteers have contributed to preparing the home for Lindsey, Hewes said.

“Any time that I needed anything volutneer-wise, there’s been such a big pool to draw from,” she said. “It’s really great to see that because it’s not necessarily a major military town, but ... everyone has said he couldn’t have picked a better community to move into than Cumming.”

Saturday morning’s key ceremony is also an opportunity to thank all those people, as well as a celebration where Lindsey and his fiancee will get their first look at the customized house, she said.

Several local patriotic groups will escort the couple to the home, where Lindsey will then be presented with the keys and an American flag.

The Silver City Band, Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders and several community leaders will attend the celebration, which is open to the public.

The final cleaning and landscaping will take place today, drawing between 30 and 50 pairs of hands.

Among those will be several young men from West Forsyth High School’s football team, donating their time and muscles.

“I thought it’d be a great thing for the boys to get involved and they were really gung-ho about it,” Coach Frank Hepler said.

The coach will be there Friday as well, though he was disappointed that he won’t be able to attend Saturday’s key ceremony where residents can meet and honor the veteran.

A mortar and sniper attack during a 2005 patrol in Amarah, Iraq left Lindsey a paraplegic.

Through Homes for Our Troops, Lindsey selected a home style to meet his needs and picked a location in Cumming, since it’s close to the Shepherd Center, where he will do physical therapy.

Though Lindsey received some grant funding from the VA for ramps at his Colorado house, the money wasn’t enough to make the home completely accessible.

The maximum grant amount from the VA is $63,370, according to a Homes for Our Troops news release.

The average home built by the national nonprofit is about $330,000. The homes are presented to disabled veterans at no cost.

John Gonsalves, Homes for Our Troops founder, said in a statement that “a barrier-free home will enable” Lindsey to “regain his freedom and independence for the sacrifice he made on behalf of our country.”

“We are also most appreciative to the community that helped raise funds to build this barrier free home,” he said. “It’s a great testimony to the community of Cumming.”