Hero receives smart home after being injured serving in Afghanistan

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MUNFORD, Tenn. — It was a welcome home fit for a hero in Munford Thursday.

Marine Cpl. Christian Brown lost both his legs and suffered injuries to his arms serving in Afghanistan.

The Gary Sinise Foundation and individuals and businesses from all across the area decided to build him a smart house, giving him the freedom to live independently.

Back in November 2013, actor Gary Sinise held a fundraising concert in Memphis for the Munford veteran.

And today, WREG’s Katie Rufener was there as all that hard work was unveiled and Brown moved in.

“We’ve experienced things together that no one will ever understand,” Brown said.

Hero isn’t a big enough word to describe him.

This man lead 163 combat missions as a squad leader and helped save a wounded comrade before stepping on an explosive devise in Afghanistan and losing both his legs.

Brown was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the military’s third highest award for valor, after carrying an injured comrade almost 1,000 feet to a waiting helicopter.

He’s lived with his mother since due to limited mobility. But today, he’s moving into his very own home.

“It’s just…it’s an incredible feeling, you know?”

The Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program and others came together to build a completely customized smart house in rural Munford.

“You get to represent your personality, who you are as a person.”

Almost everything in the home can be controlled remotely, and for someone with injuries like Brown’s, those little things are what are going to make this house a home.

Brown can control the blinds, lights and audio in the house through an iPad. Doorways are wide to accommodate his wheelchair, and even the cabinets pull down so nothing will ever be out of reach — a feeling he hasn’t had in a long time.

“Everything I do has to be thought out methodically,” Brown said. “I can’t just go by the seat of my pants like somebody else could.”

And behind the walls, there are handwritten messages of thanks from family, friends and Brown’s community.

“I’m surrounded by love.”

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