Updated 10/28/2012 11:22 AM
Volunteers spend 1,300 hours making home wheelchair accessible for wounded warrior
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GASTONIA--Military organizations and businesses came together to help one of their own in Gastonia.
The Society of American Military Engineers and the Wounded Warrior program teamed up to help Sgt. Kelvin Woods get around in his home.
For the Woods family, Saturday was not only a day to celebrate, but also the start to a new way of life.
"I feel great. There are some Americans out there that still take care of soldiers," said Woods.
Woods served in the United States Army for 21 years. But in 2010, his life took a dramatic turn when he got into a motorcycle accident, paralyzing him from the neck down.
"When he was injured he was just leaving off base. So that's considered the line of duty because he was just leaving work. He was still in his Army gear," explained Wounded Warrior Rep, Isis Frasier.
Woods was a drill sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He said shortly after the accident, he bought a house in his hometown of Gastonia to be closer to family.
But getting around in the home wasn't easy, until now.
"It gives me free access to get around in my own home. Before, I couldn't even get around in this house so it's a very big improvement," said Woods.
Military organizations and businesses came together to make the house completely wheelchair accessible by replacing carpet with hardwood, widening hallways and building ramps.
Coordinator, Cindy Zwolensky, said it took a lot of hands and time but they made it happen.
"We were able to pull the community together and really get a lot of volunteers. A lot of materials were donated. A lot of people just wanted to help and it was a terrific project," said Zwolensky.
Coordinators said it took 1,300 hours of volunteer work to complete the remodel.