“Smart Home” Built for Minnesota Veteran

Home Received Through Gary Sinise Foundation

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The Gary Sinise Foundation is known for supporting veterans through many different ways.

One, is by building homes that make life easier for soldiers who come home from war with disabilities.

Now, a Northland veteran will be calling a Gary Sinise Foundation house, home.

The groundbreaking for this “smart home” was back in September and now the state of the art house is ready for an American Hero.

An iPad will help control the home by doing things like turning on lights.

Serving as a marine was a life-long dream for Minnesota native Mark Litynski who grew up reading history books.

“World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, all that just admired the struggles that those guys went through and that they always came out on top,” explained Mark.

Litynski joined the Marine Corp. following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

“I wanted to know if I could handle those challenges that I’d read about,” Mark explained.

However, he returned home from his second deployment in Afghanistan earlier than expected.

His life had changed forever.

Litynski stepped on an IED and is now a triple amputee.

Luckily he had his wife Heather by his side.

“You know they’re always going to be tight knit, you know they’re always gonna be a team, you know they’re always gonna be moving forward,” said William Wagasy, Program and Outreach Director for the Gary Sinise Foundation.

The high tech house is a gift through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program.

“They have given so much for all of us for our freedoms and to be able to serve them in this way was very much an honor,” said Pete Franzen, President of Legacy Custom Homes.

The program provides homes for injured veterans and makes sure each house is designed with that veteran’s needs in mind.

“Going up a wheelchair ramp for example, if it had the railing on the left side it didn’t do me any good,” explained Mark.

The couple was part of the planning process from the beginning.

“We sat down with them at my office and we said, okay what do you guys want to do?” said Franzen.

Mark and Heather finally have a permanent home.

It’ll be where their children grow up.

The couple is set to welcome their first child at the beginning of November.

“Just adding to the surprises this year,” laughed Heather.

Heather says the baby showers will be starting up this summer and then they’ll start work on the nursery.

It’s been about a year since designers started planning the house.  

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