Marine who lost legs and eyesight in combat opens the door to a new specially built house

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — A Marine who lost both his legs and his eyesight in an explosion in Iraq opened the door to a new phase of life Saturday at a ceremony presenting him and his family with a specially built house.

Kentucky native Cpl. Matt Bradford and his family received the keys from a program called Helping a Hero, which builds customized homes for military personnel severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Matt Bradford, 26, was injured in January 2007 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He was blinded when shrapnel penetrated his eyes. He has two prosthetic legs and walks with a cane.

Builder Randall Peterson said wide hallways and doorways will accommodate Matt Bradford's wheelchair, and ramps outside will make it easier for him to maneuver.

Voice-activated controls will be installed by which Bradford will be able to control the television and even lock the doors.

In their new backyard, supporters waved American flags, sang the national anthem and cheered for the family. U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and his wife, Kelley, who is on the organization's board of directors, all spoke and presented the family with the key to the house.

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