Coming home: Army vet who lost leg to get keys to new digs

Army veteran Vincent “Vinny” Reynolds stands in front of the new house that will be officially presented to him by Homes For Our Troops on Saturday, July 11. Reynolds lost his leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012 and the house will sport several wheelchair accessible features.

This Saturday, July 11, Valley View resident Vincent “Vinny” Reynolds will finally get his dream home.

It has been a long time coming for Reynolds, as construction on the house began in November 2019.

Homes For Our Troops awarded Reynolds the wheelchair accessible home as a part of a program that builds and donates specially adapted homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.

In 2012, Reynolds lost his left leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan during his time in the U.S. Army.

In his new home located in Valley View, nearly every facet of the design will help him in his everyday life.

“To be quite honest, I’m extremely excited about the whole home,” Reynolds said. “Our general contractor John [Kirpach] has done an amazing job and made a custom home to everything I’ve wanted from the kitchen, to the bathrooms to the living room. It’s phenomenal. There are little subtle things that are going to make a huge difference.”

Reynolds lauded Kirpach for his willingness to design the home together.

“My general contractor John has kept me in the loop for everything and being kept in that loop, it turned what could have felt like a cookie cutter home into a custom home for me and my family,” Reynolds said. “He’s gone above and beyond to make it special for us and I feel like he’s taking it personally to make it personal for me.”

Reynolds doesn’t use his wheelchair as much as he used to, but everything is catered to his specifications, which he said will make his life much easier in the future.

“It’s completely wheelchair accessible and it sucks being in a wheelchair,” Reynolds said. “If I am in my wheelchair, I’m good to go. The countertops are a little bit lower. The doorways are wider. The hallways and bathrooms are wider. Everything is a little bit larger, so you can turn around in the wheelchair and do your business without having to do a ton of effort. The cabinets even have pulldown shelves.”

One facet of the house Reynolds is greatly looking forward to is his shower.

“It’s one of those things where I’m at a loss of words for all the things we’re anticipating,” Reynolds said. “It’s going to nice to have our own stuff again. We are looking forward to all the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] stuff like the shower, because it’s hard to shower on one leg. We’re looking forward to getting our lives back on track to where we left of three years ago.”

Reynolds and his fiancé Denise Silva have been together for eight years. They have a 3-year-old daughter Mackenzie and Reynolds also has a 10-year-old daughter Raylee.

He said he can’t wait for the whole family to be together in the new house.

“We’ve had homes before and they just didn’t feel like home,” Reynolds said. “We keep talking about it being our last move. This is our home. This is where we are going to put some roots down and set up shop. A lot of the things that went down detail-wise she had a say in. I want to see her happy because that makes me happy. This home is going to allow me to participate more and contribute more to the household.”

The house also features an acre of land which Reynolds said is important for him and his kids.

“I’m a firm believer that your kids need to be outside and growing up in some of these tightly packed developments didn’t feel right to me,” Reynolds said. “You can’t play catch or kick a soccer ball. If they ever want horses, the opportunities are endless. They can figure out what they like in life and be creative with what they want to do. You can do anything out here. That’s what I grew up with and I really want them to experience that as well.”

As an avid fisherman, Reynolds fishes competitively with Army Bass Anglers, which is made up of Army veterans and raises funds to help military service members.

He said it was great to be so close to Lake Ray Roberts and that he can constantly be found on his boat.

“This location and the home is about as much as I could dream of having,” Reynolds said. “I look out my back window and see Lake Ray Roberts. There is a boat ramp about a quarter mile away. This is my dream location. I’m at a loss of words because it’s going to be more than I ever thought I could have. Ray Roberts is a phenomenal lake for fishing and being able to have my boat in the water in 20 minutes, there isn’t many things better.”

Reynolds credited Homes For Our Troops for everything it has done for him.

“I’m getting a mortgage-free home and that’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for me and my family, whether it be travel or extracurriculars or general wants and needs,” Reynolds said. “I 100% appreciate what they’re doing. The location is perfect. I’ve gotten to know the neighbors and I’m surrounded by awesome people. We’re all very neighborly with each other. I really enjoy it and I’m really looking forward to raising my family out here.”

A key ceremony hosted by Homes For Our Troops will be 10 a.m. Saturday, July 11, at 2142 Morrow Road in Valley View. Attendance is limited to 50 people and everyone must wear a face mask. For more information, contact the community outreach team at coc@hfotusa.org.

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