New ‘smart home’ ready for injured soldier and family

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The DAV Charitable Service Trust provided support to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help build state-of-the-art residence for wounded soldier, family

Luis (center) with his wife Claudia and DAV Charitable Service Trust President Dick Marbes.

DAV Charitable Service Trust President Dick Marbes attended a special ceremony in Chevy Chase, Md., where volunteers dedicated a new, state-of-the-art home to Army Capt. Luis Avila, his wife Claudia and their three sons. The Trust provided a grant to the Gary Sinise Foundation, the organization behind Avila’s new “smart home,” to support direct costs associated with improving the lives of severely wounded veterans and their families.

The result of an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan, Avila suffered a left leg amputation, two strokes, two heart attacks and anoxic brain damage caused by severe lack of oxygen. Ultimately, he was left almost completely paralyzed.

“Capt. Luis Avila and his family have sacrificed so much for our country,” Marbes said at the ceremony, “but they have never lost their faith and commitment to each other. When Luis was severely injured during one of his five combat tours overseas, the entire Avila family was changed forever. When a veteran is severely injured in the line of duty, even the most mundane tasks turn daunting. This family has risen to challenges together. We hope this specially adapted smart home can help ease some of that burden.”

The Gary Sinise Foundation partners with organizations and corporations to provide specialized homes for veterans to regain some of their independence that may have been lost due to their combat-related injuries.

The home features smart technology that allows Avila to be on his own for the first time since his injuries. The special features and modifications built into the new home include safety precautions, high-tech camera and voice-recognition functions, security features and enough space for Avila to navigate his way through the entire home unassisted.