Disabled veteran receives new home

Purple Heart Homes renovates homes for vets in need


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local disabled veteran received a new home Friday thanks to a very special group who helps veterans achieve homeownership.

Jeffery Taylor and his wife, Tracy, got to see their new home for the first time Friday night.

"Everything, there's not one thing I don't like. It's perfect," said Taylor.

It took volunteers with Purple Heart Homes thirty days to renovate the Mandarin-area home from the inside out.

The community and businesses came together to welcome the Iraq War veteran home.

Taylor, a Private First Class Officer in the army, was critically injured during the Iraq War when his crew's vehicle was attacked.

Taylor was the only survivor of the attack and suffered a crushed leg, nerve damage and hearing loss.

"We tried to prepare ourselves but it's all moved really, really fast," said Tracy Taylor. "You take it one day at a time. Jeff has a lot of nightmares and severe PTSD. He's a trooper and he sticks with it."

"I have traumatic brain injury so she can't yell at me for forgetting stuff, " said Jeffrey.

Purple Heart Homes co-founder John Gallina has helped to give dozens of families something to smile about.

Gallina and another war veteran started the non-profit in 2008 after suffering their own injuries during the Iraq War.

"It's a great feeling, but in a way it's selfish," said Gallina. "It's a way for me to heal, even though I'm injured I can do something positive for my community."

Purple Heart Homes has helped 25 vets since 2008 and they plan to help close to 50 by the end of the year. They will travel to Connecticut to unveil a new home for a veteran this weekend.