On the morning of Easter Sunday 2009, Army Specialist Brendan Marracco’s vehicle was hit by an Explosive Fired Projectile as he returned to his base in Iraq. Two years later and after several surgeries resulting in the amputation of both arms and legs, Marracco is the first quadruple amputee to survive the war and is returning to a brand new home in Staten Island, N.Y.
The 25-year-old has spent the last two years undergoing physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was welcomed home Saturday by about 300 friends, family and neighbors. Marracco accepted keys to his new custom, handicap accessible home that was built over a 10 month period entirely by donations and with the help of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Building Homes for Heroes.
“When you talk about an effort, a monumental effort, to get something done, we’ve lived it. And we’ve lived it only because people like you chose to make it possible for us. And people like you chose to make a difference in Brendan’s life,” said Alex Marrocco, Brendan’s father.
The veteran, who left for the army in 2008, hopes to transition back home completely by the end of the month.
“It’s been a long time since I lived back in Staten Island,” Marracco said. “Finally, I can leave the hospital and go back to life.”
With lighting operated by sensors and remote controlled front and rear doors, the home features technology meant to make Marracco’s life as normal as possible. All the ramps and porches even have electric heat maps to melt away snow or ice during the winter.
Kitchen counters also lower automatically along with shelves from the upper cabinets.
The Siller Foundation raised over $650,000 with contributions from additional organizations, fund-raisers and personal donations. Almost $200,000 was raised by the Firefighters for Wounded Veterans.
“I have no idea what to say,” Marrocco said moments before an American flag covering the entire home was removed to reveal his new home. “I just want to say, thank you.”Tags: amputation, amputee, Brendan Marracco, Explosive Fired Projectile, quadruple amputee, Siller Foundation