Volunteers fix the home of Round Rock Iraq Veteran


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalists J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE


Posted on April 27, 2013 at 6:25 PM

ROUND ROCK -- Sanding down a door, doing yard work and building a shed may not sound like the ideal Saturday morning but more than two dozen volunteers from the Association of the United States Army, Wounded Warrior Project and TexVet say they wouldn't dream of being anywhere else.

It's not because they love a honey-do list, but because they respect Corporal Alan Babin, Jr.  and the sacrifice he and his family have made for America.

"You can't hear Alan's story and not be motivated. He is truly a hero," said U.S. Army Veteran Timothy Stroud.

Shortly after the 9-11 attack, Babin, then just 22 years old, joined the Army becoming a medic. On March 31, 2003 during a heavy firefight, the call rang out for a medic and Babin answered.

Alan left the safety of a covered position and he rushed to render aid. And was hit with an AK47 and it did its job. It was an abdominal wound," explained Babin's mother Rosie Babin. "And the firefight was so severe that Alan actually laid on the hood of a gun truck for three and a half hours before they could extract him."

Babin lost 90 percent of his stomach, his spline and part of his pancreas. He had more than 70 surgeries, suffered meningitis and a stroke. And if you say he's been through a lot, he'll just smile and correct you.

"Just a little," Babin said.

Babin learned to talk again and use his limbs, but doctors told him he would spend the rest of his life in a nursing home.

"Just goes to show you what a fighting spirit can do," added Babin. 

His mother and father, a Commander for Round Rock Police Department, are his full time caretakers. And that comes with some challenges.

"Home ownership is a 24/7 deal anyways," said Alan Babin, Sr. "So taking care of Alan and trying to get him to all of these different events that we try to keep him involved in, sometimes you just don't have time to get to the things that you need to fix around the house."

"And it's tough for families like ours that were the doers and busy and involved in the community to suddenly be on the other side where we're the ones needing the assistance," added Babin's mother. 

Still, Saturday, the Babin's were able to humble themselves and the community, including several veterans, stepped up.

"I don't really do any house maintenance, so learning to do stuff like that has been difficult," said U.S> Air Force Veteran Brandy Brown. "I caulked around the outside of the house."

Even some young volunteers pitched in. "Pulling weeds, putting out dirt, um, picking up nails," said six-year old Justin Gear.

"I hope he feels glad that we're out here working for him because he can't do it himself," added Gear's nine-year old brother Jason Gear.

Without a doubt, Babin is grateful. But his desire to serve is still there.

"I still feel like I need to do something to help and give back to the community," said Babin. 

Proving that the vow of service over self never leaves our nation's defenders.