MetroNews photo

Wounded Sgt. Ryan Long and his wife Vanessa were joined by their oldest daughter Mariah, son Jaiden, and 3-year-old Angelina at the Greenbrier Classic on Friday.

 

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Move-in day will be July 22 in Foster, Va. for a U.S. Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan and his family members.

On Friday night, those with the Military Warriors Support Foundation were scheduled to mark Independence Day by handing over the keys to that new mortgage-free home to U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Ryan Long, prior to The Greenbrier Classic’s concert from Maroon 5.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Long lost his right leg and almost lost his left leg in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2012. “I was driving and I rolled over an IED. That’s the short story. It did a lot of damage to my vehicle, (but) I caught the worst of it,” Long said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Since then, he’s undergone more than half a dozen surgeries, worked through extensive rehabilitation and has dealt with recurring infections. Throughout it, he said he has tried to remain positive.

“For us, it was a job. We were there to do it. I enjoyed it. It’s unfortunate this happened,” Long said of his injury. “I look at it as a gift and a curse. It’s a blessing too.”

Long said he’s ready to move forward with his life and continue his education — he’s studying accounting. Long’s wife, Vanessa, was with him in Greenbrier County to pick up the keys along with the couple’s three children — Mariah, 9, Jaiden, 6, and Angelina, 4.

“That’s what’s so awesome about it,” Long said of the house gift. “It gives me that financial freedom to pursue my education and not have to worry about holding down a full-time job and trying to go to school and take care of family as well. It would be very stressful.”

Ret. Lt. General Leroy Sisco created the Military Warriors Support Foundation to provide support for combat wounded veterans and Gold Star families. “I don’t want to give them a burden. I want to give them an asset. All the years I spent as a commander in different units, I never really got to say thank you and this is the best way I know,” Sisco said.

Homes that are 100 percent mortgage-free are awarded to combat wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who apply through the Foundation’s homes donation program, Homes4WoundedHeroes.

To date, Sisco said they’ve awarded almost 600 homes valued at $142 million total. “You can actually just literally see it lift the stress off them when you give them a home,” he said.

More information about the work of the Military Warriors Support Foundation is available here.

Sisco and Long were guests on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline” which was broadcasting from The Greenbrier Resort as part of The PGA’s Greenbrier Classic.

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Comments

  • bob

    Alot of the heros from the Viet Nam War lives in boxes or under bridges, nobody ever helped them.

    • Independent View

      We do a lot for our Vietnam Veterans Bob.
      We make them wait months for medical appointments at VA hospitals, we treat them for Agent Orange exposure that is eating away at their minds and bodies; many dying decades short of the life expectancy of a healthy male, we made them wait YEARS for their disability decisions, prompting court battles that also lasted for years, with many disabled vets loosing their homes to foreclosure while fighting for benefits that they had EARNED.
      86,000+ died in Vietnam and the hundreds of thousands that did manage to return were screamed at when they arrived at airports and bus stations and called "baby killers." many more were spat upon by Liberals that could not accept that soldiers, sailors & airmen were just doing their job, following the orders of the commander-in-chief. What does the government do to attempt to make amends for this tragedy? They build a wall and inscribe the names of the 86,000+ that were killed in Vietnam in this marble wall and somehow that makes everything o.k.?
      So, yes, Bob, we've done a lot for our Vietnam Veterans.

      • Fred

        Actually, we have provided immense benefits for all of our veterans and I am unable to understand why they constantly complain about our country. If they are so displeased with their treatment they, like everyone, are free and permitted to find the country of their choice which best meets their requirements and relocate there.

        • Shadow

          Did you serve or did you just return from Canada? It is so obvious that you never served but received the benefits of Freedom that so many of our friends gave their life or health to preserve. They knew what Freedom was and is..... Go find you hole!

        • bob

          Vietnam and Korean War Vets were'nt treated the same as others including the past two, we had to fight a terrible battle in a land that was misable and for a country that disowned us. We sometimes didn't have ammo, radios or air support but I don't think we ever lost a battle, Fred, you drink your kool aid anyway you want to, Also we didn't have cell-phone to talk to our love ones everynight!

  • northforkfisher

    I'm so glad to see this story and proud of Ryan Long for his service to his country. I'm also humbled by the courage he displays moving forward with his life. The reason I'm glad to see this is that most of the time these stories are buried on the back page of a newspaper and all the negative stories of the wars is posted all over the front.

  • Mister G!

    Notice the honorable veteran's house will be in Foster, Virginia; only the keys will be presented to him at the Greenbrier. 'Cause there ain't no way Fat Bastard parts with a dime unless there's a court order...

    • Shadow

      Why be negative when an Honor is being bestowed? If it had not been done at the Greenbrier, it would have never made the news and the good work of a lot of good folks would not have been made public.