Community Steps Up to Support Veteran

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JEFFERSON CITY - A group of people met Saturday to discuss plans for the next phase of Operation Tyler. The group's goal is to provide a new handicap accessible home for Corporal Tyler Huffman, his wife and their son.

Tyler Huffman was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Afghanistan, and the bullet severed parts of his lower spine. He's now in a wheelchair and it's been difficult to get around his current home.

"I kind of have to go through it slow otherwise I bang the wall or I hit the edge of my chair on the wall, and I tear it up so it'd be nice to actually have a home where I don't have to worry about that," said Huffman.

Joseph Twehous and his wife own an empty lot next to their home in Jefferson City. After hearing about Huffman, Twehous donated the lot to Operation Tyler.

Rosie Verslues remembers the day Twehous told her he was going to donate the property.  She called Chris Jarboe, a co-worker on Operation Tyler, to tell him the news.

"I said Chris, you'll never believe what I have to tell you. I said, "Are you sitting down?" I said, "This is awesome what I'm going to tell you-- We have a veteran that's standing here that wants to donate a lot," said Verslues.

The group discussed donations at Saturday's meeting.  Community members have stepped up to donate their skills and time to various parts of the project including plumbing, well drilling, roofing, brick laying and cabinetry. Scott Schaeperkoetter with Signature Homes has even offered to be the home builder.

"It's such a wonderful feeling to find out, well Jefferson City has a lot of generous people," said Twehous.

Contact Joseph Twehous at 573-893-4034 if you're interested in donating your time or money to Operation Tyler. You can also make checks payable to "Operation Tyler," and mail them to Home Savings Bank in Jefferson city at the following address:

Home Savings Bank

P.O. Box 867

130 E. McCarty St.

Jefferson City, Mo. 65101