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Veteran Army pilot presented with new smart home from Gary Sinise Foundation

Gary Sinise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., April 29, 2016. (Master Sgt. Jeff Walston/U.S. Air Force)
June 03, 2019

Last month, the Gary Sinise Foundation thanked an Army pilot veteran with a specially adapted smart home.

Retired U.S. Army pilot CW5 Gary Linfoot, part of the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR(A)), was injured during his service in Iraq in 2008 when a helicopter crash landing left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Gary and Mari Linfoot were honored at a dedication ceremony for their new smart home and the control pad that makes it functional. There were more than 200 guests in attendance, according to Clarksville Online.

The Linfoot’s new home was made possible by Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment).

While Gary Sinise could not be present for the ceremony, he did send a message to be delivered by retired U.S. Army General Vincent K. Brooks from the foundation’s Board of Directors.

It said, “You are an inspiration my friend. What an incredible journey you have had. Seeing the video of you walking your daughter down the aisle in the amazing exoskeleton brought tears to my eyes. I am thrilled that you are finally here today, about to begin this brand-new chapter in your life. … I will look forward to a time in the future when I can come visit, take a tour of your new home, and personally thank you, Mari and your three children, Allyssa, Kylie and Hayden, once again for all you have sacrificed on behalf of this nation. On behalf of everyone at the Gary Sinise Foundation, welcome home Linfoot family. Enjoy this wonderful day. May God bless you always, and may God Bless the United States of America you have so faithfully served. Army Strong! Your ‘Grateful American’ pal, Gary Sinise”

Linfoot’s rehabilitation has been extensive, with his first spine stabilization surgery at a hospital in Germany, then further procedures at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Tampa VA Hospital, and Shepherd Center in Georgia.

Despite Linfoot’s trials and tribulations, he was able to fulfill his and his oldest daughter’s dream of walking her down the aisle in 2016, thanks to an exoskeleton suit.

He said, “To be able to walk my daughter down the aisle, something I thought was lost forever. It was one of those treasured moments to come back to me because of this wonderful technology,” the VC Star reported.

The exoskeleton suits are “primarily used in rehabilitation centers but Linfoot was able to use one from a grant from the Infinite Hero Foundation and the Airpower Foundation,” the VC Star added.