By: Jessica Meszaros
It’s a story of two veterans impacted by improvised explosive devices [IED] and one community with a big heart.
During the week of March 19, two veterans and their families attended groundbreakings for new, specialized houses in Wildwood, gifts from two different foundations but with one goal – rewarding the men’s hard work overseas with a place to call home.
Both homes are highly personalized to each veterans’ needs.
U.S. Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland was born in Minnesota and raised in University City. He still has multiple family members in the area. Soon, he will be residing in Wildwood, along with his wife, Carrie.
Strickland joined the Army two years out of high school before entering the National Guard as an infantry rifleman. While enlisted, Strickland graduated from college with a degree in graphic design and, and upon re-enlistment, became part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Returning from a mission in Zabul, Afghanistan, in February 2010, Strickland witnessed an IED strike his commander’s vehicle before another blast hit Strickland’s vehicle. Strickland sustained multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury [TBI]. Other injuries necessitated bilateral above-knee amputations.