LOOMIS (CBS13) – Family, friends and volunteers showed up to support Marine Corps Corporal Joshua Hotaling Saturday as crews broke ground on his new house.
“We are here to honor Joshua and make sure that people know that he is a absolute American hero,” said Mike Doyle from Patriot Guard Riders.
Joshua lost both of his legs while deployed in Afghanistan two years ago. His focus Saturday is having a home he can call his own.
“Joshua applied to Homes for Our Troops and, based on his injuries, he was accepted into our program,” said Patty Catalan from Homes for Our Troops.
Homes for Our Troops will build and give Joshua – at no cost to him – a brand new, specially adapted house in Loomis, where his parents also live.
“Even the seven years I spent in the Marine Corps, when I’d come back home to visit them, I’ve stayed in Loomis. I love Loomis. I like the small town atmosphere,” Joshua said.
The Patriot Guard Riders, along with other veteran-supported groups, surrounded Joshua with respect and honor at Saturday’s ceremony.
“You know, a lot of us are veterans ourselves and we want to support them as much as possible,” said Fred Corcoran from Patriot Guard Riders and American Legion Riders.
In just four to six months, a once empty plot of land will be the site of Joshua’s new home.
“I’m truly honored that this community, and this country as a whole, is taking such good care of me when I came back,” Joshua said.
One thankful person is Joshua’s mom.
“Well, he’s going to hate this, but having him home for me means he’s safe again,” said Cheryl Hotaling, Joshua’s mom.
After crews build the home, they’ll ask volunteers to help with the landscaping. Once that’s completed, Homes for Our Troops will give Joshua the keys.