A disabled Purple Heart veteran gets an unexpected surprise when his home was falling apart and repairs were too costly.
Josh and Sarah Lozier have lived in their SE OKC home for about four years. It was built in 1961, but the family says it got so bad inside at one point, the house was condemned. So with the help of some generous volunteers, and in just seven days, the Loziers say they now have the home of their dreams.
Josh Lozier, 32, is partially blind and deaf and has titanium pins in his back after a roadside bomb wounded him in Iraq, seven years ago when he was a private in the Army.
Lozier was stationed in Kuwait, but helped escort supply convoys to bases in Iraq when the bomb exploded. Two years later, he was awarded a Purple Heart. Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart recently visited Josh's home and said it was in shambles.
"You just had sheet rock that was falling apart, a rodent infestation, mold, bad pipes, sewage back up," says Russell Smith, commander of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Lozier said his old wooden floors had holes, stains and would give his baby girl splinters.
"I've lived in worse before, but it was nasty," Lozier said. "It wasn't dirty, but it was dated and some of the stuff was messed up."
Smith said he applied for a $5,000 grant from Home Depot, and said the purple heart organization received nearly $8,000 along with dozens of Home Depot volunteers to fix the Lozier's home.
"The kitchen was completely taken apart and put back together," Smith said. "All new cabinets, new appliances, new paint new backsplash, everything."
Sarah Lozier says her favorite part of the kitchen now is the extra cabinet space. Volunteers tore out sheet rock in the garage and replaced it with green board drywall to prevent mold. The home also has new floors, all new windows and window coverings and light fixtures.
"It really looks brand new," Smith says. "This is clearly in our wheelhouse and within our organization mission statement, and it's what we do."
The Choctaw Nation donated $600 for the supplies, Motel 6 put the Loziers in one of its rooms for free and PODS donated a free storage unit for the family to store all their belongings while the home was being repaired.
Josh Lozier says he humbled and blessed that his 10-month old daughter Taylor now has a safe floor to play on. He says the family plans to paint outside, add insulation and gutters and replace their worn out furniture, which he hopes won't take him forever.
"I didn't know people did this kind of stuff," Lozier said. "Being the way I am now, it kind of sucks needing to ask for help for things, but thankfully, there were people who were willing."