WEATHERFORD (CBS 11 NEWS) – He was face-to-face with a bomb, and he survived. After two years of recovery, Marine Staff Sergeant Marcus Burleson returned to North Texas this week, where a few volunteers are scrambling to give him a house he can live in.

Debbie Carney and Bob Berkey have expanded rooms, remodeled a bathroom, and outfitted Burleson’s parent’s house with things he needs now to live.

Burleson lost both arms in that explosion in Afghanistan. With a robotic prosthetic on his right arm he can still hold a steering wheel and drive. He can pick up a glass to take a drink. His cell phone is stuck onto the prosthetic with Velcro, and he can raise it to his nose to tap out a text message.

But in a typical home, things like doorknobs can be a problem. A shower door can be hard to pull open. With just one good eye, seeing yourself in the mirror isn’t exactly easy anymore.

“We needed to make everything accessible to him,” Carney said Friday. She was contacted last month by Spirit of a Hero, a Flower Mound organization that provides support to critically injured soldiers. It needed someone to outfit the home for Burleson, and Carney said she couldn’t say no. “It’s not just about Marcus,” she said. “He is our hero here. There are so many families that need help.”

They have had help with materials from local Lowe’s and Home Depot stores. First National Bank Weatherford started a fund. Workers from their contracting company helped when they could. But Carney said there is more to do. Things like building in a microwave, at the right height for Burleson to use, are things she said you just don’t think about until you need them.

Te remodeling was a surprise for Burleson. He had only spent a few short weeks in Texas he said, since he enlisted in the Marines shortly after September 11th. He couldn’t wait to come home.

“I never really expected to get here and have everybody waiting on me, arms open, and just… I don’t know, it’s amazing,” he said.

Donations to the effort can be made to the Sgt. Marcus Burleson Fund, at the First National Bank in Weatherford — located at 220 Palo Pinto Street
Weatherford, TX.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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