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David Guzman, who was injured while serving in the Army Reserve, is moving to Wimbereley, where Homes for Our Troops is building him a new home. Photo submitted via Wimberley View

Custom home for Wounded Warrior

Homes for Our Troops to build family new house in Wimberley
Thursday, November 14, 2019

David Guzman is patriotic, just as other family members have been in the past. He joined the Texas Army Reserve for a decade in 1989 and when 9/11 hit New York, he re-upped in 2002.

Wars are not pretty, and Guzman learned that first hand when the truck he was driving hit an improvised exploding device, causing Guzman to suffer hearing loss and shrapnel wounds. Later, it would cause issues with his right foot. His leg contracted gangrene, which has caused him to wear a brace to this day. He also has to wear a hearing aid. He left the service and was medically discharged in 2005. He went to speech therapy where he had to learn the alphabet again. 

“All that time and patience, I had to learn not to be afraid. There are some other vets that find it hard to hold a glass bottle," Guzman said. "There is a high suicide rate, especially those who were wounded. Take your life? Just who do you think you’ll affect? All you’ll leave them is a bill for a funeral. Sometimes a talk with a vet, one veteran to another veteran, helps. They can go on with their lives. There are second chances, so let’s enjoy.”

He has other advice from his experiences. “Learn how to cope better than you have. Try to do things well… feel with your heart when you know it is right.”

Therapy has helped, but what has helped the most is cooking. Sure he was around the kitchen learning family recipes from his mom. But going to culinary class and learning about cooking is different.

“It changes everything. It gives you a different perspective. You think you know until you learn the proper way to cook and taste,” Guzman said. 

The proper way to taste is now a regular ritual at his house when he presents as meal. “I’m not cranking it out, everybody can taste. The first few seconds everybody’s quiet, no talking. Your tasting face is it.”

He now cooks professionally, mainly for Purple Heart recipients and their families. Cooking has been his therapy. But his present house in Mission, Texas is bulging, especially with his wife and three boys. The kitchen is too small and it is hard to accommodate Guzman with his injuries.

This is where Homes for Our Troops steps in. They are building the Guzmans a house in Wimberley. Saddle Ridge was chosen for the location of the house. But Wimberley is a ways away from Mission.

“Wimberley is a quiet, peaceful town," Guzman said. "It’s a little bit country but medical care is there… I like Wimberley’s environment.” 

Homes for Our Troops is a 501 3 (c) nonprofit organization whose mission is “to build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives.” Since 2004 they have built overt 280 custom adapted homes for injured veterans.

A community kickoff party will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. (Check-in at 9:30 a.m.) at VFW Post #6441, 401 Jacobs Well Road, in Wimberley.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666