U.S. Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez, who lost three of his limbs serving in Afghanistan, his wife, Alexis, and their 8-year-old daughter received the gift of a lifetime on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11th: a custom-built "smart home."
The home is equipped with an elevator, automatic kitchen cabinets and surveillance cameras -- a system that's almost entirely controlled from an iPad. The home even includes a music studio for Dominguez to play the drums, a passion of his.
"Juan, he's got the heart of a Marine, and it's a never quit attitude," actor Gary Sinise, founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, told ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego. "He joined the service voluntarily. He knew that as a Marine, you're going to get sent into harm's way."
"I wanted to be that volunteer," Dominguez told KGTV. "So the people around me that didn't want to volunteer didn't have to," said Dominguez."
The money for the approximately $600,000 home located in Temecula, Calif., came from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation. The goal was to help Dominguez reclaim his independence.
Dominguez was in high school when he watched both World Trade Center towers collapse on television. At that moment he made a gut decision to join the Marines.
While on tour in Afghanistan two years ago, Dominguez stumbled on an improvised explosive device, or IED, losing both of his legs and an arm.
Dominguez's story immediately hit home for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation's founders, whose younger brother, New York firefighter Stephen Siller, died on 9/11. As soon as Siller's six brothers and sisters learned of his death, they vowed right then and there to start a foundation in Stephen's name dedicated to helping wounded veterans.
"The fact that we are helping Juan to reclaim his full active life by providing him with a home designed to meet his special needs means everything to Stephen's family," said Frank Siller, chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, in a news release. "Giving Juan a measure of his life back -- after all he has done -- on the anniversary of the day our brother died, means the world to us."
- Volunteering & Philanthropy
- Death & Funeral
- Gary Sinise