I saw a really cool story on Jersey Shore Online about a new “smart” home being built in Howell for a disabled veteran (and first responder). The home is being built by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a tax-exempt non-profit. Its mission "is to honor the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. We also honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.” Among other services, the foundation builds mortgage free homes for members of the U.S. Armed Services who suffered catastrophic injuries during training or in combat.

The home in Howell is being built for Marine Corporal Scott Nokes of Neptune; during his second deployment in Afghanistan he contracted dysentery which led to sepsis and eventually to the amputation of both his legs below the knee. He is also lost his vision. Prior to joining the Marines he was a volunteer firefighter and is credited with saving life of a boy he rescued from a fire. While each home the foundation builds is tailored to the needs of the individual recipient, some of the standard features include multi-room audio for the treatment of PTSD, motorized sink and stove, upper cabinet lifts, special showers, whole-home security and monitoring, wireless internet, a backup generator, and the ability to control the whole home via iPad or smartphone.

The home is currently under construction and, according to JerseyShoreOnline.com, should be ready for Cpl. Nokes to move in by the end of the year. If you want to contribute to the Tunnel To Towers non-profit, go to the website, and click on the “Donate Now” button at the top.

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