Lance Cpl. Kevin Honaker is home to stay as a 12-year journey has entered its next chapter for the Sparta native who received a key to his brand new, specially designed home.
Honaker, a double amputee, who was injured in September 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on deployment in Afghanistan, is the recipient of a house from Homes for our Troops, an organization that works to provide the country’s injured veterans with homes that can make adjusting to their new normal a little easier.
“Homes for our Troops is really excited today,” Kathleen DeVito, the organization’s director of marketing, said just moments before Honaker arrived at his newly-built house. “This is our 333rd home that Homes for our Troops has delivered to our severely injured veterans across the country. This is our 11th in the state of Tennessee but our first in Sparta. We are really excited for Kevin and his family to move in and get started rebuilding their lives.”
Honaker’s new home, which comes with over three dozen adaptations, including wider hallways, lowered counters, and a roll-in shower making maneuvering a wheelchair through everyday routines easier, comes at no cost to the veteran and his fiancée.
“One of the things different about Homes for our Troops is that we afford the veteran to choose where they want to live,” DeVito explained. “We buy the land and hire a general contractor and then turn the key to the finished home over to the veteran.”
For Honaker, choosing where he would have his forever home was an easy task.
“They reached out to me while I was in the hospital and have called me every four months for about seven years now,” Honaker said and explained that the Homes for Our Troops staff wanted him to know that they were there for him when the time came that he was ready for his forever home. “They were just waiting until I knew where I wanted to build and stay.”
For Honaker, the “where” was never a question, just the timing. Honaker has been running a lighting rental company, in Atlanta, with a friend who he says will stay in Georgia running that while he makes his home in Sparta and offers wired electrical services to White County and the surrounding area.
“I’ve always loved this community,” Honaker said of his hometown of Sparta. “I was born and raised here, and this is where I want to stay forever.”
While it has been nearly 12 years since Honaker’s life was traumatically changed, the building process for his forever home has been quick. The community kicked off the build with a ceremony, on Oct. 23, 2021, and now, just eight months later, they gathered again, this time in Honaker’s driveway, to welcome him home to stay.
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