MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Country Western singer Lee Greenwood was named ambassador for HelpingaHero.org Monday morning just after he spoke and performed two of his popular songs. He stopped in Houston on his way to this weekends Nashville performance to help present the keys to a new Chesmar Home in The Woodlands for wounded warrior, MAJ Will Lyles, USA (Ret.). Major Lyles lost both legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. His commendations include 3 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and numerous other medals.. Receiving the keys to this home will symbolize the start of a new chapter in Will’s life as he continues to rebuild his life.
In addition to this beautiful home, Gallery Furniture donated a house full of furniture and Spark Energy donated one year of free electricity. The Design Divas of the Houston Furniture Bank assigned teams to each room of the home to make sure every room is specially designed for its use.
Will grew up in Hampton, VA. He played baseball at Bethel High School and earned a scholarship to Virginia Military Institute. He graduated with a BA in Psychology and minors in Philosophy and Leadership Studies. He played baseball all four years at VMI.
He was selected for Officer Candidate School and left for Basic Training June 23, 2003. He graduated from OCS Dec 11, 2003 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant Infantry officer. Will’s first tour in Iraq was as a platoon leader in 3rd Battalion 15th Infantry Regiment. His unit was located in Baghdad (Sadr City), and their deployment lasted from Jan ’05 to Jan ’06.
His second tour in Iraq was from Apr ’07 to Jun ’08. He served as a company executive officer and battalion assistant operations officer. He was with the same battalion, but reflagged to 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment. They were the last of the surge brigades into Iraq. His battalion had 13 KIA in the first 90 days, but they didn’t have a single attack in the last 6 months. They definitely saw the fruits of their labors and really made a difference during that rotation. He deployed to Afghanistan on July 5, 2010 as a team leader with Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. On August 28, 2010, he was hit by a pressure plate IED during a fire fight with insurgents in Garm Ab village in Oruzgan Province. The IED left him a bilateral amputee above the knee with burns and shrapnel wounds on his lower half as well as several other wounds.
When Will arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on September 4, 2010, he was on a ventilator and spent 6 weeks in ICU. His first few weeks were the toughest fighting infections from his open wounds. His body was going septic until they cut off 6 inches of his femur and gave him a cocktail of antibiotics. He finally got well enough to be discharged on November 16, 2010. Since then, he has been in and out of BAMC undergoing further skin graph surgeries and rehab at The Center for the Intrepid.
It was while in the hospital that he met his fiance Sophia, an Army nurse who has decided to make The Woodlands her home also as they plan to marry soon.
Will’s current long term goal is to become a doctor and help people in the manner he was helped. He is currently studying for the MCAT and retaking some prerequisite courses before applying to medical school.
This is the 7th home Texas based HelpingaHero.org has partnered with Chesmar Homes to build. Chesmar homes has worked with HelpingaHero.org to design a home that will meet this family’s needs as they rebuild their lives. This home will include 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths. It is fully wheelchair accessible and include wider doors and hallways, the adapted bathroom includes a roll in shower, roll under sink, and other safety features needed to help Will be independent.
The Woodlands Development Corporation, a Howard Hughes development, has generously donated the home site for this home in the Sterling Ridge community in the May Valley.
Houston based, Helping a Hero is a 501(c)(3) non profit, non-partisan organization providing support for military personnel, severely injured in the war on terror. Our principal activity is to provide specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engaging the community to provide services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families. Thanks to the HelpingaHero.org Home Program, 100 severely wounded heroes from
212states have been awarded a new adapted home. HelpingaHero.org is the 2nd largest 501(c)(3) organization building homes for our severely wounded heroes in the nation. And all of this has been accomplished with no paid staff for our first 6 years and now has a bare bones staff.