Photo courtesy of Steve Plumley

A home fit for a hero

Marine Sgt. Adam Kisielewski and his family have a new home.

Kisielewski lost his left arm at the shoulder and his right leg below the knee when an IED detonated while he was looking for insurgents near Fallujah, Iraq, in August 2005. Following extensive rehab, he returned to his multilevel home in Frederick, Md., and faced numerous access challenges. That's when the group Homes for Our Troops stepped in to build the wounded warrior a new place to live.

In March, 25 American Legion Riders from Frederick Post 11 joined local and state police - in 24-degree weather - to escort Kisielewski 40 miles to the building site of his new home. More than 100 volunteers had gathered for ceremonies to kick off a three-day build. Two days later, the structure was framed, sided and roofed, and windows were installed. It would take another two months to complete the project.

On July 16, more than 100 Legion Riders from Post 11 gathered to escort the wounded Marine and his family to their new home. Kisielewski and the Riders were met by volunteers, construction workers and a Patriot Guard flag line, nearly 200 feet long altogether.

During the ensuing "key" ceremony, Frederick Riders sergeant-at-arms Steve Plumley thanked the volunteers, his Riders, and most of all Kisielewski for his service and sacrifice to the country. Frederick Riders Director Oscar Shankle presented Kisielewski with a framed "Boots on the Ground" drawing, signed on the back by all the Frederick Riders, who also served as the color guard for the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, the Riders returned to their annual three-day Thunder in the Mountains Legacy Fund campout in Thurmond, Md., where they raised approximately $2,000 for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.