LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - He served his country for two decades, but during his last combat deployment, Anthony Kenworthy suffered severe injuries that left him a quadriplegic.
Wednesday, his community in Pasco County came together to welcome him to a mortgage-free home, built especially for his needs.
"It's super emotional to see everybody come out to see me," a tearful Kenworthy said.
The Army veteran got the key to his mortgage-free, custom-built smart home Wednesday, thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Kenworthy was completing his seventh combat deployment in 2014 when his truck hit an IED He was pinned under the turret he was guarding. The event paralyzed him, making everyday life difficult.
Now Kenworthy will have fewer obstacles at home. His new place has sinks that turn on with a simple touch, stovetops that adjust heights at the push of a button, cabinets that pull down and out, and a track lift that will help him move around.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller has been gifting homes to deserving veterans for years. He says with many soldiers struggling with paralysis or amputations after returning home, he sees the need.
"Guys are coming home from the battlefield with injuries they would have died from in the past, so there's a need for these homes. And when we build these houses, and we deliver them, the joy it brings to them, it's like Christmas all over," Siller said.
It was also a special day for Nancy Gass, her late husband saved Kenworthy's life that day in 2014, but died two weeks later.
"To see someone with a young child who has been through so much, get a home, especially in his situation to get a smart home that's going to help him be so much more independent," Gass said.
"I didn't do anything special, but I got hurt doing it, but the country came together to take care of me. It's really amazing to see," Kenworthy said.
The Tunnels to Towers Foundation was formed to honor the New York firefighters who ran miles, in full gear, to help those in lower Manhattan on 9/11. The foundation has been building homes for wounded veterans for more than a decade.