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Marine, family get mortgage-free home

Marine Cpl. Kevin Vaughan looks at the large

Marine Cpl. Kevin Vaughan looks at the large welcome home reception from his family and community on March 9, 2012. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Town of Hempstead will join in a welcome to the neighborhood Tuesday for United States Marine Corps Cpl. Kevin Vaughan, who has been given a mortgage-free home in his hometown of North Merrick, thanks to Building Homes for Heroes and its brigade of volunteers, donors and other supporters.

Vaughan and his family will ceremonially break ground on a new two-story Cape Cod-style home at 11 a.m. in front of the site on Little Whaleneck Road, between Decker and Abbott avenues.

He was in the Third Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was traveling in for combat operations struck an 80-pound pressure plate bomb. He was treated for 15 months at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, had his left leg amputated below the knee and his right leg reconstructed with rods and screws. He was also treated for other major injuries.

Led by its founder Andy Pujol, the Valley Stream-based nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes gave 17 homes to veterans in 2013 and plans to give 28 homes nationwide this year, he said. This is the first home the group has given in its base of Hempstead Town.

Hempstead Town has waived all building permit fees, for a savings of $2,400 to the charitable organization.

“Corporal Vaughan is a true hero,” town Supervisor Kate Murray said.

The building group is seeking donations and volunteers for the Vaughan home and for other projects to help severely wounded and disabled veterans.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the organization’s website at For those who are interested in donating construction materials or labor, please contact Chad Gottlieb, director of construction development, at 516-684-9220.

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