Purple Heart recipient who is disabled gets new home

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — One American hero received the gift of a lifetime Thursday.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Lawson has lived all around the world.

“I joined the day after September 11, 2001,” Lawson said.

One of the few constants in his life is his daughter, who moved about seven times with her parents.

“She’s never really had that stable place to call home,” said Lawson.

During his tour in Afghanistan, he was ambushed by an IED, and helped his comrades before he got help from a doctor. Now he has PTSD and other health issues.

“[I’ve had] two surgeries on my shoulder, injections in my back all the time. I need a hip replacement. I need both knees replaced. I have a pretty bad traumatic brain injury,” Lawson said.

He has since be awarded the Purple Heart, but to him there was still one thing missing.

“I never imagined it for my family that I own a home,” Lawson said.

Thursday, that changed. Lawson heard the two words he has wanted to hear for a long time: “Welcome Home.”

Thanks to Building a Home for Heroes, he has the keys to a brand new mortgage-free home.

“Veterans apply, we find veterans with the greatest need in the areas, so Mr. Lawson got the home,” Building Homes for Heroes spokesman James Rogers said. “It makes it all worthwhile to know you’re doing something significant with your life, and it’s an honor to be part of that moment with those families.”

“My daughter is 14 now, and I was running out of time with her. Without them, I wouldn’t have that time,” Lawson said.

For a man who’s traveled the world, this meant everything.

“I felt so much guilt for my family that it was my adventure I took them on, and they are the ones that suffered through it,” Lawson said.

Coming from Florida, his wife and daughter’s favorite part was the view of the Rockies, but Lawson’s favorite part is just having a place to enjoy that view with his family.

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