A disabled veteran will spend this Veteran's Day in a brand new home. With that home comes a sense of independence he has not been able to enjoy since being shot on the battlefield.
A day before Veteran's Day, Alan Babin Junior and his family arrived to their new home.
Babin nearly lost his life in 2003 trying to save the life of another solder in Iraq. He endured more than 70 abdominal surgeries and five brain surgeries.
While in the hospital he met Gary Sinise—a.k.a. "Lt. Dan" from the film Forrest Gump. "When I look back to when I first met you. It's just absolutely awesome how far you've come,” said Sinise.
Sinise, through his foundation, and with many partners in the home building process, constructed an accessible living space for Babin.
"Thank you for all you've given on behalf of this nation. It's a great honor to say ‘welcome home, my friend.’ May God bless you and your beautiful family always, and may God bless the United States of America you so faithfully served,” said Sinise.
After raising the flags outside, the Babins got the keys to the house. For Alan, that meant an iPad giving him the ability to work all of the fixtures with a touch of the screen.
"I've never gotten to do that before. That's just so cool,” said Babin.
He enjoyed opening and closing the blinds. "That's huge. I mean, for other people it might not be a big thing, but for me that's huge,” said Babin.
Babin, who has had to rely on the support of his parents to do everyday tasks, has an entire wing to himself. A lift will help him get from his bed to the shower.
As beautiful as the inside is, Babin says his favorite spot is the back porch. For the first time since being injured, he's able to go out there on his own.
"To watch Alan roll out onto the porch by himself is miraculous to us. The independence that it's going to provide to him and to us is just incredible,” said Rosie Babin. "Alan is a war hero, but he became my hero for the battle he fought in his hospital bed day after day. Alan, post battlefield. Persistence determination and an attitude that doesn't quit."
It was that attitude and that smile that stuck with Sinise. Now the actor has ensured Babin will be taken care of as he sought to care for all of us.
"I can't even put into words how I feel. This is so amazing. Just for everybody to take time out of their lives for me.” said Babin. "It means the world to me. I can finally, my parents can get a break and that just is everything."
The Gary Sinise Foundation has built smart homes for 42 veterans.
Two more will move into homes by the end of the year.