An East Tennessee veteran's sacrifice is inspiring hundreds from around the nation to give back.
More than 800 volunteers are helping to build a 3,800 square foot “forever home” for a Speedwell veteran who lost his legs in Afghanistan.
"Humbling is a pretty good word,” said Cody Evans, who will receive the keys once the house is complete. “Seeing all the people come together and working so hard and getting so much done in a little bit of time."
In 2011, Evans served in Afghanistan as a combat engineer. His primary role involved using metal detectors to locate explosive devices on the ground, but just five months after touching down, everything changed.
"I was clearing a compound out, and stepped on one, and it exploded on me," he said.
"I was just praying. Praying that he lived,” his mother Regina Evans said. “Every day he would come home, I just prayed that he would come home safe."
After fighting for his life Cody did come home, but readjusting to his mother's home as a double-amputee had its obstacles. It's why this week's work is so necessary.
Mike Fitzpatrick, the president of A Soldier's Journey Home, is leading he house-building project. He said the home will be fully handicapped-accessible.
"The counters are all at his level. His bathroom counter -- normally you can't pull under a counter in a bathroom, but he can now. Every aspect of the house, even some of the furniture, is being catered toward everything he needs.”
Fitzpatrick said many of the workers are firefighters and veterans themselves-- but all are volunteers, taking off work for a man whose spirit never crumbled.
"The beautiful thing about Cody is he never complains,” Fitzpatrick said. He doesn't even realize, I don't think, some of these things that are going to make his life easier because he's already overcome those obstacles."
Evans said he cannot thank everyone involved enough.