Local Vietnam vet is next recipient of Purple Heart home

A chicken might not be your average service animal; neither is a goat, but Vietnam veteran Richard Linder has both (along with some dogs and cats).  

It’s safe to say the Private First Class Army Veteran has his hands full, and that’s just the way he likes it. There are a lot of obstacles, though. Many of those obstacles are inside his home.

Linder lost one of his legs from diabetes, and agent orange from Vietnam makes him a return customer at the VA Hospital.

“It’s a never-ending struggle,” Linder told FOX 46. “I have bad kidneys, I have a mitral valve in my heart, I have rheumatoid arthritis, my right hip has been replaced,” he listed.

His home is old, the floor sags and it is hard for him to get around. All Linder wanted was a front porch, so he reached out to Purple Heart Homes. After seeing the condition of Linder’s home, the crew had another idea.

“The option was, ‘Let’s build a new home!’” Linder said.

While Linder lives in his current house, Purple Heart Homes will build a new one right next door.

Linder, who says it took 30 years for someone to genuinely welcome him back home from Vietnam, is now going to have an entire crew build something custom fit for him.

He told FOX 46 he couldn’t be more excited to get the ball rolling, even if it means letting the professionals get to work.

“They are not going to let me get involved, and, I mean, what the heck?” He said with a laugh. “I want to be.

Involved, but I also know me being involved means it takes longer, so I’m going to stay out of it as much as I can.”

For more information on Purple Heart Homes, and their mission to help disabled veterans, click here.