DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – “Home for the holidays” has a whole new meaning this year for a Dallas army veteran.  He did not unwrap his present this year.  He unlocked it.

Steve Blackman easily rolled right through his front door.  His wheel chair fits in the hallways.  He can turn around in his closet, and he could hardly believe it was happening.  The house fits Blackman perfectly, because it was built just for him.

The army veteran survived explosions and an accident while fighting in Iraq.  Now home from the battlefield, he found himself still fighting the effects of his injuries.

“I went from walking with a cane, to walking with a walker, to not being able to walk that well,” recalls Blackman.

He couldn’t work.  His wife had to take care of him.  That’s when the group, “Defenders of Freedom,” stepped in to help.

There won’t be any more worries for the Blackmans about where they will live or pay the rent, because the group gave them the home-mortgage free.

“This is …one of the best things that I think has ever happened to myself, or I think anyone in my immediate family.”

Like most veterans, Blackman said he never wanted recognition for his service, that he’d still fight if he could, and it’s more than he deserves.

That’s exactly why Defenders of Freedom believes, he does deserve it — a safe home, for someone who fought to make home safe, for the rest of us.

“It’s wood, it’s nails, it’s everything else. But now we can actually make it a home.”

This is the second home “Defenders of Freedom” has built.  The group hopes to raise enough money to do one each year.

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