PALMYRA TOWNSHIP -- It's been eleven years since United States Army Specialist Roberto Reyes has had a place to call home. The veteran from New York was severely injured serving in Iraq in 2005.
Thanks to "Homes for our Troops" and a number of area supporters, Specialist Reyes and his family will now call Wayne County home.
In 2005, Specialist Reyes was on his second deployment when he was ejected 20-feet in the air from his vehicle after it was struck by an explosive device while he was serving in Iraq.
"Robert is the best soldIer you could ever ask for. [He’s] brave and courageous. He actually joined the army on 9/11,” said Sgt. Baldemar Sosa, Specialist Reyes' best friend.
The impact of his fall resulted in severe injuries. Since then, he's been living in different veteran’s assistance facilities.
It's been nearly 11 years since he and his family have had a place to call home, but that all changed this weekend.
"It's been a long journey. It's been a long wait but seeing all these people come together and seeing this beautiful home built for Roberto has restored so much faith in me and so much belief in people,” said Maria Valentin, Specialist Reyes' aunt.
Thanks to a non-profit organization "Homes for our Troops" and community supporters, Specialist Reyes and his family now call a brand new, mortgage-free house home in Hawley.
It’s a sigh of relief for those close to the wounded veteran.
Valentin added, "It's rewarding and it makes me feel like I’ve done what I promised Robert 11 years ago, what I would do."
The house has more than 40 different special amenities that will make Specialist Reyes feel right at home. This includes wider doors, sliding windows and even a lift in certain parts of the house.
United States Army Sergeant Baldemar Sosa worked with Specialist Reyes in Iraq. He was supposed to be working with him on the day he was badly injured but had the day off.
Sosa tells us this day has been a long time coming for his best friend. He added, “It's amazing for how wonderful an organization is to finally give him a home to call his own because he's been living at the hospital for so long.”
Specialist Reyes and his family will be fully moved into their home by the beginning of this week. They look forward to the new journey and new home they can finally call their own.