Wounded warrior to receive new home, thanks in part to the Gary Sinise Foundation
Sinise's Lt. Dan Band to headline benefit concert
Last Updated: 90 days ago
TEMECULA, Calif. - He lost his legs and his arm, but not his spirit. Now, a grateful veteran will soon get a new home, thanks in part to an actor's foundation.
Actor Gary Sinise, most recognized for his role as Lt. Dan in the Academy Award winning film "Forrest Gump," says his foundation serves wounded warriors because those brave men and women motivate him.
10News was at the announcement in Temecula on Wednesday that another wounded warrior in the same city would be getting a new home. It is the second of its kind in Temecula.
During Wednesday's announcement on the steps of Temecula's City Hall, Staff Sgt. Matt Lammers' smile was contagious. The love between him and his wife could be seen as they locked arms while others spoke of his heroism.
"He's so inspiring … nothing is going to stop this young man," said a Temecula city official at the announcement.
Lammers and his family, who currently reside in Tucson, Ariz., are about to make Temecula their new home.
The two-time Purple Heart recipient will have a "smart home" built just for him and his family, out the generosity of the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Tunnel for Towers Foundation.
"The home that we are building is not just energy-efficient," said Chris Kuban, who is with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. "There's more to a 'smart home' in that it gives catastrophically veteran the ability to do things on their own."
On June 10, 2007, as Lammers and his men were returning from a mission to their base in Baghdad, Iraq, their Humvee drove over an EFP, or explosively formed penetrator.
"The blast took both of Matt's legs and left arm. His optimistic spirit, though, was unfazed and remains an inspiration to us all," the city official added.
Lammers said, "Honestly, in my heart, I felt that I was just doing my job and I don't expect nor should I expect anything for doing my job. It's a flesh wound. It's an arm and two legs."
Sinise himself could not be in Temecula on Wednesday since he was with First Lady Michelle Obama and young children on this 9/11 remembrance.
But he sent a message to Lammers and his wife.
"I wish I could be there to thank you personally today for the incredible sacrifices you have made for each and every one of us," he said in a letter that was read. "But I will see you soon and I look forward to paying tribute to you on November 2."
That is when a benefit concert, called Operation Matt, will be held to build the Lammers their home, one that will enable him be more independent.
Sinise is called the modern-day Bob Hope. His band, the Lt. Dan Band, helps raise money for wounded veterans like Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez, who lost his legs and an arm after stepping on a 30-pound bomb in Afghanistan.
"Temecula is a really good place," added Dominguez, who is a triple amputee. "It's a really good place to welcome people and I am happy to have Matt here."
It was clear at the announcement ceremony that Dominguez, Lammers and their wives are fast friends. In fact, the families met last year and quickly hit it off.
"He's a fighter," said Alicia Lammers, Matt's wife. "He's a leader … since the day he was born. He happens to be a soldier but he has had so many challenges through his whole life. He has had so many challenges – and he always overcomes them."
She added, "I cannot even express how thankful I am for Gary Sinise and Tunnel to Towers to come up with this event."
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