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I thought that more than a few of us might be interested in this one. Guy

Volunteers to build home for wounded soldier

By Ben Tinsley
The Daily News

Published August 3, 2007

SANTA FE - Almost 200 volunteers are expected to turn out Saturday to help an Iraq veteran crippled by mortar fire build a new home.

Former Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Monroe has had to learn to use a new leg after injuries suffered during the war, making constructing a new home difficult.

It's a pressure felt by his entire family - his wife of five years and his three kids.

"Them helping us takes a huge amount of stress off my husband, so he's not always having to figure out how to take care of us," said Kristi Monroe.

"It really helps not having to worry about that all the time."

Before he started his military career, Monroe was a police officer and prison guard in Virginia and the Carolinas.

He enlisted in the Army and met his wife, an Army medic, while stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y

In 2000, Monroe's unit was deployed to Iraq to help train the Iraqi police force. A mortar attack took his right leg at a police station just outside of Baghdad.

A prosthetic leg and three years of rehabilitation gave him a new lease on life.

Monroe recently started working as a counselor at the Veterans Administration hospital.

"He has the ability to make a much greater impact than most counselors would," his wife said.

"I went through the VA system as an Army veteran and they didn't really listen to me. I wouldn't talk to them because I didn't feel they were listening to me. Shawn can really make a difference. He has the ability to understand because he suffered the same problems."

Organizers say help from the Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops, which has projects in four states, will go a long way toward helping the Santa Fe resident establish his new life.

"This is a great service to our community's local hero," said group spokeswoman Lisa L. Lents.

The project has a steering committee of Project D-Day, is sponsored by Homes For Our Troops and promoted by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The American Red Cross also will be there Saturday to help with first aid.

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WHAT: New home construction for former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Monroe

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: 15913 Pine Street, Santa Fe

DETAILS: Volunteers will meet about 8 a.m. Saturday at Santa Fe High School. They will be given a shirt and be taken to the construction site.

ON THE WEB: www.homesforourtroops.org
 
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