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The Berkshires

Veteran receives keys to new smart home after multiple fundraisers

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Albany/HV: Veteran receives keys to new smart home after multiple fundraisers
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After months of construction, an Air Force veteran got the keys to his new home Monday. It's all thanks to some generous donors and volunteers. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on this story.

AVERILL PARK, N.Y. -- After nearly a year of fundraising, it came down to this one big moment. Air Force Tech Sergeant Joe Wilkinson took a look inside his new home in Averill Park on Monday.

"The last four months of construction, this is the finished product, it's really amazing, can't even put into words," said Wilkinson.

The 2,500 square foot smart home is wheelchair accessible. It's finally standing thanks to multiple fundraisers and a partnership between the Tunnel to Towers and the Gary Sinise foundations.

"It's just a great thing to be involved with. To be able to give back to our men and women who pay such a big price for protecting our country," said Frank Siller, Chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Wilkinson suffers from a degenerative nerve disease and is paralyzed. The Iraq war veteran says the house will not only help him, but his family too.

"When it's more independence for myself, it gives my family a break. My kids and my wife, they can go back to leading their lives. It's basically a fresh start for all of us," said Wilkinson.

Fresh start on Christmas in a home that will be theirs for many years to come.

"It's like I'm going to wake up from a dream any minute. It's just truly unbelievable," said Wilkinson.

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