Homes For Our Troops, a national nonprofit, is inviting the community to assist in landscaping a specially adapted custom home for a Yelm man who was severely injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
The volunteer event will begin with check-ins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the home, which is located at 19743 149th Avenue Southeast in Yelm.
Sgt. Aaron Boyle was on patrol in the Arghandab River Valley on Sept. 21, 2010, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The explosion resulted in the loss of his right arm and right leg while also causing severe damage to his left leg.
Now medically retired, Boyle is involved with the Freedom Training Center in McKenna. He’d like to become a motivational speaker.
At Saturday’s event, volunteers will lay sod and plant trees and flowers in preparation for a key ceremony on Dec. 7. Volunteers are asked to bring gardening gloves and small garden tools.
More information about Homes For Our Troops can be found at www.hfotusa.org.
Here’s a biography of Boyle that can also be found at www.hfotusa.org/boyle:
Motivated by the 9/11 attacks, Aaron Boyle joined the Army after high school following the legacy of his father and brothers who all served. He went on his first deployment to Iraq in 2008 as an Infantryman, and then deployed again in 2010, this time to Afghanistan with B Company, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
On Sept. 21, 2010, Sergeant Boyle was on patrol in the Arghandab River Valley when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in the loss of his right arm, right leg, and severe damage to his left leg.
Now medically retired, Aaron wears his prosthetic every day and has adapted his lifestyle to continue to thrive. He is involved with the local gym, Freedom Training Center, in McKenna, Wash. He would like to possibly pursue a career as a motivational speaker. He loves playing video games and finds it therapeutic. He also volunteers at several events throughout the year for the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood, Wash.
Although Aaron has not let his injuries prevent him from pursuing his goals, he still experiences obstacles within his own home. He and his wife Lynn love to cook for their three children, and host get-togethers with family and friends. Their current home is not adapted, making these activities difficult for Aaron. It is hard for both of them to be in the kitchen together because the space is not wide enough for Aaron’s wheelchair. He experiences the same issue in their living room. When they have guests over, his wheelchair often blocks the entryway. Receiving a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home with an open floorplan and wide doorways and hallways will eliminate these issues for Aaron. Additionally, the financial freedom of receiving this home will give Aaron the ability to save for his children’s college and his own schooling. Most importantly, not having the daily burden of living in non-accessible housing will improve Aaron’s overall quality of life. “This home will allow me to be able to spend more stress free time with my family,” he says.
Aaron says it is only because of people like HFOT’s donors and supporters that Veterans like himself are able to continue to thrive. “They inspire me every day to better myself,” he says.