MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – While thousands crowded around the stage in McKinney to see rock star Bret Michaels, the real headliner Sunday night was Lance Corporal Brian Aft.
Money donated at the free concert will go towards building the Dallas Marine a new house.
While serving in Afghanistan Aft stepped on an IED. He shattered his wrist, punctured his eardrum, and when he woke up in a hospital in Germany he learned his legs had been amputated.
“I was telling my nurses that my legs were hurting pretty bad,” recalled Aft. “They asked me where I was hurting. I think it is around my knees. It’s hard to tell. And they’re like ‘Brian, you don’t have knees.’”
Sunday was the ninth house the non-profit organization Smiles Charity has funded.
Since 2011 money raised at the annual concert has gone to build homes for wounded military members.
The group’s president and local orthodontist, Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, said this has been a cause near to her heart ever since one of her patients was killed in Afghanistan.
“It just really broke my heart,“ she said. “Here are these kids that are fighting for freedom so we can have a normal life and so I was like I want to do something for a veteran.”
The concert, which was plagued by off-and-on rain most of the day drew a slightly smaller than excepted crowd but organizers were confident they still reach their goal of nearly $200,000.
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