Most people arrive at a new home in a moving van. But one Army veteran chose a different way of getting to his new home in Dutchess County. Reporter Candace Dunkley has more on why this home, and this day, were so special.
MILLERTON, N.Y. -- As Army veteran Stephen Valyou parachuted onto the site of his new home Thursday a community was ready to welcome him.
“Stephen has more than earned this attention,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
"Honored,” said Valyou. “Like I said, I volunteered to go serve our country. The key word: volunteer. No one made me. I didn't expect anything from it."
Valyou was shot by a sniper in Iraq in 2007, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
On Thursday the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation presented Valyou with a new accessible smart home. Many of its systems like heating, security, even the music, can be operated with an iPad.
“I can be here with my kids and not have to go to the door to see who’s there and if there’s something going on I’m able to monitor that. The accessibility with the kitchen, the bathrooms, you can go on and on,” said Valyou.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created to honor firefighter Stephen Siller who died on 9/11. His brother Frank, who heads the foundation, said Valyou was the perfect person to receive this home.
"Stephen Valyou was a firefighter before 9/11, joined the Army because of 9/11,” said Siller.
The foundation aims to help first responders and members of the military. Valyou’s home is the 51st they've worked on.
“People don’t even realize how many men and women in uniform that paid such a big sacrifice, that need homes like this,” said Siller.