LOVELAND, Ohio (WKRC) – A local veteran who sacrificed his freedom and independence is getting help rebuilding his life, thanks to a nonprofit organization.
Retired Marine Corporal Joshua Sust learned to never take life for granted.
“What in the beginning was one of the worst days of my life, it actually turned out to be a blessing,” he said.
In 2011, the veteran was hit by an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. He spent weeks in the hospital and made the life-changing decision to amputate his left leg below the knee.
“Right now, I live in Cincinnati -- a small house. The complication I have now is I can never use my wheelchair, never. It's just not feasible. I can’t even get into the bathroom,” said Sust.
The Colerain graduate calls that traumatic event a blessing because it allowed him to meet people like Tom Landwermeyer, the president and CEO of Homes for Our Troops.
“We build specially-adapted custom homes across the country. Then we donate them to severely injured post-9/11 veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives,” said Landwermeyer.
Sust chose to rebuild in Loveland in a new home that will give him the freedom to move. It'll have more than 40 special adaptations to make his life easier.
“I’m the type of person that doesn’t believe I deserve these things. I always ask, 'Why? Why me? Why this kid from Colerain?'” Sust said.
That question was easy for Landwermeyer to answer.
“Josh is probably one of the most positive people on the face of this earth. The things that happened to him and all the veterans, a lot of people would look at that as a dark time in the past that affected the rest of their lives. He doesn’t look at it that way,” said Landwermeyer.
Construction on the exterior of the house is finished. The inside is still a work in progress.
Every step of the way, Sust is letting people know just how grateful he is.
“Thank you. Thank you for having me here," he said. "Without you guys, none of this would be possible. It's people like you that make this country great."