BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Wounded Heroes Fund is nearly ready to start building a home for Lance Corporal Jeremiah Thein, who became a double amputee while serving in Afghanistan. But, there's one problem. They can't find a lot to build the house on.
Either the lots aren't big enough, not in the right area, or they are way over their budget. But, Wounded Heroes needs to find some land soon, so they are reaching out to the community for ideas.
Every day, Jeremiah Thein is closer to coming home, excelling in his therapy in San Diego.
"Nothing is difficult to me," said Thein in August 2012 of his recovery.
While building strength is easy for Jeremiah, building him a Bakersfield home has come to be quite the challenge.
"Yeah, we didn't think it would be this hard finding a lot," said Executive Director of the Wounded Heroes Fund, Wendy Porter.
Porter says they have collected what they want to spend on the home, and materials and labor are donated. But, the suitable lots they've found don't suit their budget.
"We don't want to spend so much money on a lot and fall short, something fall through and then not be able to deliver the home we want to give to Jeremiah and his family," said Porter.
Jeremiah would like his family to live in the southwest, near his now close friend, Wesley Barrientos. But, Porter says available lots there were purchased when the market was high, and the owners can't afford to reduce the price. And, last August, contractor Jim Ward said the lot has to be at least 80 by 125 feet to hold the extra space a wheelchair accessible home needs.
"There's always little things that come into building an ADA adapted house that normally we don't have in our homes," said Ward.
But, no lot means no home of any kind. So, Porter hopes the community, that's been so generous, will help again and make it truly a hero's homecoming.
"You know whatever we need to do so we can get this lot and get it started cause my worry now is, I don't sleep at night thinking that he's going to be ready to come home and the home's not going to be finished yet," said Porter.
If you know of land, have an idea or would like to help, call Wounded Heroes at 328-8600.
Jeremiah could be back in Bakersfield by this fall.