First Posted: 6/22/2009 9:27:15 PM | Last Updated: 6/23/2009 1:34:55 PM
This Sunday the Florence Freedom will be honoring SGt Chase Matthews, a soldier who was lost both of his legs and the use of his left arm, wrist and hand when an IED exploded in Iraq.
After receiving treatments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Matthews was released to return to his home in Eddyville, Kentucky with his wife Jennifer and daughter Sarah. He quickly found out that mobility around his single wide trailer home was not going to be easy.
“There’s gravel all around the house so I can’t use my wheelchair to get around and four steps to get up to the front porch and five steps to get up the back porch,” Matthews said. “Right now I have to rely on our railings up the porch steps and prosthetic legs to get around the house which is extremely difficult and painful.”
So later on in 2007, the Matthews family heard of an organization called Homes For Our Troops through a Wounded Warrior web site.
“We needed something because our hallways are too narrow for Chase’s wheelchair to go through,” wife Jennifer said. “I work 45 miles away at the Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah so I would always worry something was going to happen to Chase and I couldn’t be there for him.”
So Chase and Jennifer submitted their application and got in line. Nearly a year and a half and 40 other assisted injuries soldiers later, they got the news they were waiting for, Homes For Our Troops was going to build their family a handicapped accessible house.
No more worrying if Chase needed help and could not get to his cell phone, no more climbing up stairs to get into the house, doors and hallways wide enough for a wheel chair to pass through and other basic functions of life so many Americans take for granted was now going to be his.
“When we got the news we just started crying we were so happy,” Jennifer said. “This is going to make things so much easier for Chase who truly is an American hero.”
On June 28, Matthews, the 202nd
Army Band, Brigadier General Joseph M. Richie and other members of the United States Military will make their way to Champion Window Field to be honored before a Florence Freedom baseball game.
Kathy Oates is with Seniors Supporting Homes For Our Troops and has been hitting the pavement helping spread the world about injured soldiers like Matthews. Oates learned of a fund raiser program through the Freedom and will be selling tickets to the June 28 game with $5 per ticket going towards Homes For Our Troops.
Persons interested in coming out in support of Matthews and the military on June 28 for Salute to our Troops night are encouraged to give Oates a call at (859) 384-3532 to purchase tickets and support her cause.
Our thanks to the Florence Freedom for sharing this story with us.