Wounded Airman Michael Malarsie gets new home
Operation Finally Home, Tilson Homes builds home for wounded warrior
SAN ANTONIO - Imagine never knowing what your own children look like or ever seeing your spouse's face.
Now imagine moving into a brand new house without ever laying eyes on it.
That's the story of Senior Airman Michael Malarsie who was left blind after an IED attack in Afghanistan. The way he describes that moment on December 3, 2010, might be hard for many to imagine.
"It opened my eyes in a way," Michael said. "It changed my priorities."
Fast forward two years later to today. Michael is married with two children and another one on the way. And to top it off, he's getting a new house- for free- thanks to Operation Finally Home and Tilson Homes. SouthStar Communities provided the land.
Michael will never be able to see his new house, but he will be able to feel a model of it thanks to 3D technology.
What is crystal clear to him, he says, is just how far his family has come. Much of their journey blossomed from tragedy. His wife Jessie's late husband was with Michael's unit the day they were attacked.
"He stepped on the IED that blinded me," said Michael.
Months into his recovery, he met Jessie and the two eventually got married. Michael has never seen her face.
"The hardest part though is when Sophie was born," said Jessie. "He said 'Jess, what does she look like?' How can you describe to someone what their child looks like? That's hard."
It's a moment they'll share again soon when their new baby arrives.
The Malarsie family will be able to move into their home around the same time they welcome their new arrival. The house that Michael can never see will be called "home" for the airman and his family who deserve our unending thanks.
"This has changed our lives and we'll be forever thankful," said Michael. "My life is perfect. I wouldn't change a thing."
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