HOUSTON Marine Corporal Nick Perales has just walked into a new life, on new legs, that he sacrificed for an old cause---defending our nation.
In 2011, Corporal Perales stepped on an explosive device in Afghanistan.
My right leg was amputated just below my knee and multiple open fractures on my left leg, so just bone and stuff popping out, he said.
For his service, the young Marine received a Purple Heart and on Wednesday the Texas Sentinels Foundation gave him a mortgage-free, tax-free home.
Feels good to have my own home now, ADA compliant easy to continue living life now after my injuries, Cpl. Perales said.
The home sits on one-and-a-half acres. It has two bedrooms, two baths, a study and separate dining area. The home has been completely renovated and fully furnished and is now appraised at $170,000.
The state of Texas will pay the property taxes.
He did not get this house for free. He gave up half of his body as payment, said Daniel Peterson, Marine Corporal-Retired.
Cpl. Perales is a single dad who shares custody of his 6-year-old son. The Marine has been living in an apartment in San Antonio. He is from Bandera, Texas and has family living in Houston.
It is no coincidence that the Marine received his new home on Sept. 11.
We wanted everybody this year to remember that they we re here honoring one of the veterans that defended the country after that incident, said Texas Sentinels co-founder Richard Filip.
This will greatly change my life, Cpl. Perales said. It s a stable place for me to set down a foundation for my future.