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Local disabled vet gets new home from Gary Sinise Foundation

Romy Camargo became paralyzed when he was shot in the spine during a humanitarian mission 14 years ago

LUTZ, Fla. — A local Army veteran and his family were handed the keys to a brand-new home, mortgage-free, thanks to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Sinise, you might remember, famously played Lieutenant Dan in the movie "Forrest Gump." His foundation works toward building homes for real-life wounded warriors and their families.

It was a heart-warming moment for former Army Chief Warrant Officer Romy Camargo, his wife, Gaby, and their two children.

The family received the keys to a brand-new house in Lutz, which was custom built with a design and technology to allow Camargo to live a more independent life.

“Just the space that I can go through. I don’t have to worry about getting yelled at for scratching the door, or scratching the walls or anything,” Camargo said. “You know, I can go ahead and do 360s in almost every part of this house. That’s what I wanted and what I dreamed of.”

“Oh my God, beyond expectations, honestly,” Gaby said. “They did an amazing job. We’re so grateful that I don’t think saying thank you is enough.”

Camargo became paralyzed when he was shot in the spine during a humanitarian mission 14 years ago. The Gary Sinise Foundation selected Camargo, not just in tribute for the sacrifices made in combat, but for his ongoing service to help other wounded warriors.

The couple operates the Stay in Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center in Tampa. Sinise also surprised the Camargo’s with a $25,000 donation to their organization.

He thanked them in a personalized video message.

“Romy and Gaby —I’m thrilled that you’re finally here today about to begin this brand-new chapter in your life,” he said. “I look forward to a time in the future when I can come visit. Take a little tour of your home and personally thank you for all you’ve sacrificed on behalf of this nation.”

The house is enormous. It’s packed with high-end appliances and materials.

There’s a beautiful lakefront view and smart technology that gives Romy the independence he works to bring others facing similar challenges.

“This is a testament to what they do and how they do it,” Camargo said. “And to make — you know, our reality — to make it our reality.”

This is the 79th home dedicated by the Gary Sinise Foundation, but they have around eight to 10 wounded warriors and first responders accepted into the program each year.

Their efforts allow them to live up to their motto: “While we can never do enough, we can always do a little more.”

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