FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – He’s one of many soldiers coming home from Afghanistan who are still fighting an ongoing battle. Veteran Matt Moeller has both physical and mental wounds. That’s why a group is raising money to say thank you, by giving him a new home.
On December 11, 2009, Matt Moeller was driving a one-man mine detector for the Army in Afghanistan when an explosion changed his life.
“On our way back, I was getting ready to just come on top of the hill when an IED struck my vehicle and blew it into two pieces,” Moeller said. “That’s when I was pretty much unconscious.”
After treatment, Moeller made it back home, got married, and now has a two-year-old son. But the battle continues every day with pain in his knees, back, and a Traumatic Brain Injury.
“I get frustrated a lot. I get anxious. A lot of nights I get nightmares and stuff and end up waking up multiple times throughout the night,” Moeller said. “Normally I only get two to four hours [of sleep] a night.”
Moeller and his family currently live in a two-story apartment. His wife and son stay upstairs. He stays downstairs because of the pain, but that’s all about to change.
The Homes for Wounded Warriors Program has picked Moeller as a recipient and the Upstate Alliance for Realtors (UPSTAR) as a sponsor. UPSTAR has raised close to $35,000 of its $67,000 goal. That includes commitments to donate electrical labor, heating, air, and furniture.
Leaders plan to build the family a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch as a way to show them support from a community that cares.
“This gentleman fought for our country. And we believe firmly that he’s a hero in our eyes as well as the community’s eyes,” said Katrina Kay, UPSTAR executive.
Leaders hope to break ground on the home in August and dedicate it on Veterans Day, November 11.
They’re still looking for about $25,000 in donations. For ways to donate and updates on the fundraising, click on campaign website here.