Local Foundations Foot Bill For Iraq War Hero's Home
A Staten Island soldier who lost all his limbs while fighting in the Iraq War is going to come home by Christmas to a brand new house built especially for him. Borough Reporter Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
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Brendan Marrocco, 23, barely survived his tour of duty in Iraq. The Staten Island native was severely injured on Easter Sunday last year, when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by an explosive fired projectile.
The explosion caused injuries to each of his limbs - and Marrocco survived as the first quadruple amputee. He has not been back at home since the incident and has undergone intensive rehab at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
At a press conference Tuesday, Marrocco said he cannot wait to come home.
"I haven't had time to sit back and breathe, so it's going to be nice to do that. Not have to worry about going to rehab, or anything, really," said Marrocco.
His homecoming will be made special, thanks to the Siller Foundation and Building Homes For Heroes, which plan to build a new home for Marrocco on land near Wolfe's Pond Park.
Plans for the home have not been finalized, but it will be constructed to meet the veteran's needs.
"This has to be a smart home. It has to be where you walk in a room, the lights turn on, when you leave, the lights go off. If you tap a faucet, the water starts to come out of it," said Anthony Grisanti of Building Homes For Heroes. "You don't have to turn any knobs or handles or things like that."
While much of the construction supplies and labor will be donated, the land where the house will be built is not free. The Siller Foundation is hoping to raise $500,000 to help pay that cost.
The Siller Foundation was formed by the family of off-duty firefighter Stephen Siller, who was killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks after running through the Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site with his gear on. The foundation aims to help the needs of children who have lost their parents, and the Sillers say helping Brendan is exactly what their brother would have wanted.
"We know he's proud. This is what he would be doing if he was alive. There's no question about it," said Frank Siller of the Siller Foundation.
"They say I really deserve it, but there's so many other people who in my mind who deserve it more than I," said Marrocco.
Organizers are hoping to put shovels in the ground and begin construction next month, so the home is finished in time for Christmas. To donate towards the effort, call 1-718-987-1931 or visit tunneltotowersrun.org.