GRAND ISLAND (WKBW) While serving his country in Afghanistan, Army Specialist Nick Pillozi was injured jumping out of a helicopter before it crashed, as well as being hit by shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade. After rehab, he returned home, when another accident would leave him with a half-amputated foot, barely able to walk.
"You just take everything as it comes and you do the best you can," Pilozzi said.
Pillozi now uses a foot prosthetic, but still struggles with stairs, has trouble holding his balance, and couldn't operate inside his own home.
Enter extended family member and president of Ivy Lea Construction, Mike Washington.
"How can you ever give back to help someone in this situation? I couldn't imagine what he's been through, I've never lived through any of those things, and and what's the things that you can do, the services you can perform, the things you can do to help someone out like that," Washington said.
Along with donations and a grant from the VA, Ivy Lea remodeled Pillozi's home, enlarging his bathroom, putting his bedroom on the first floor, and installing a wheelchair lift. All of it at little to no cost to the vet, as a simple thank you.
"I'm so glad we were able to take part in this project, so glad that we were able to help Nick out with this, and I hope he enjoys this forever. I hope he never moves," Washington said.
Pilozzi struggled to find words when looking over his new home.
"It's unbelievable really. It's, I can't believe it. I don't know, it's great," he said.
Pillozi is now retired from the military and is attending college. To the community, he gave back his own 'thank you.'