The morning of May 3, the Gary Sinise Foundation honored severely injured, now retired, USMC Staff Sgt. Brandon Dodson with a specially adapted Smart Home in Vista, built specifically for Dodson and his family.
Dodson is the son of a Marine, and two years after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the United States Marine Corps. He served through five combat deployments and achieved many great accomplishments with his platoon all while keeping their safety his top priority.
On Aug. 9, 2014, during his fifth deployment, Dodson and his platoon were on a mission in a small village when he stepped on a hidden pressure-plated, improvised explosive device (IED). He remembers opening his eyes to the chaos around him. His first instinct was to take care of his men, until he realized he was the one in need of care.
Dodson suffered severe injuries from the blast, which required him to a have a double leg amputation above the knee. He spent months at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and underwent many surgeries. He was living with his wife and son in a small apartment at Walter Reed for two years, but has since moved to Camp Pendleton in San Diego to be closer to family.
The home offers adaptations for the simple tasks of everyday life — climbing stairs, reaching a high shelf, getting in and out of the bathroom — that for severely wounded heroes, can be impossible obstacles and their enduring ambition to achieve a semblance of normalcy.
Under its R.I.S.E. program, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building specially adapted smart homes for our nation’s most severely wounded veterans and first responders. It is constructing these one-of-a-kind homes all across the country, each for a wounded hero, their caregivers, and their families. With a place to truly call home, they will now be able to move forward with their lives.