Community bands together to give severely injured Anderson soldier a home

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The groundbreaking for a new home for an Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan happened on Saturday afternoon. Tim Senkowsi, who lost both of his legs in an IED blast, put on his prostethics, in order to help turn the first pile of dirt on the 6-acre site.

More than 100 motorcyclists rode from Avon to the site, to mark the groundbreaking.

Original: The Path Home, a non-profit dedicated to area veterans, will break ground Saturday on a home for retired army infantryman Tim Senkowski, who lost both of his legs and suffered other serious injuries in an IED blast in Afghanistan.

Senkowski’s mother took his family of four into her home, but it is far from handicap-accessible.

After more than a year, they raised $55,000 to pay for a 6 acre plot in Anderson, and trade unions with the Indiana Union Construction Industry have partnered with the non-profit by offering labor and materials at no cost.

“All you can do is look forward to tomorrow,” said Tim Senkowski, the injured soldier from Anderson.

He lost both of his legs above the knee among other severe injuries. He also suffers from a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Still, he laughs easily with his youngest son on Friday knowing they are just a day away from the groundbreaking.

Senkowski spent nearly two years, in part away from his family, as he was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Sometimes, he’ll stay in the living room all day just so he doesn’t have to transfer all over the place,” said Tamra  Rigdon, Senkowski’s mother, who said he often feels trapped in the home. She retroffited her garage, and moved into it to make room for her son and his family of four.

In the meantime, individuals and some big names like Ricker’s Convenience Stores and the Colts, have stepped up to help with donations as did the former land owner, who sold the land at a $10,000 discount.

“I  just can’t thank Tim enough for what he did and glad to have him here,” said Stephen Priser, the former land owner.

“I kind of have chills a little bit. I can’t stop smiling,” said Erica Senkowski, Senkowski’s wife. She suffers from lupus, and she admits it has been a hard journey for their family.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Rigdon.

“I wouldn’t be this far without the help of the community,” said Senkowski.

The Path Home is asking for continued support for the family to speed up the building process. They are hoping more supplier would step up with extra materials.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m.  at 247 South 500 West, Anderson, Indiana.

Before the event, the family is hosting a benefit motorcycle ride at noon. Riders are expected to register at 10:30 a.m. at the Avon American Legion Post 145 at 375 South State Road 267.  For more information, riders can contact Robert Mullins at 317-670-3240.

For more information on making donations to the ongoing effort, The Path Home can be reached at (317) 775-4481 or (812) 528-1628.