Tonawanda News — Buckely said the last several years have been a trying time for the tight-knit family, though knowing Schaus will be able to operate more freely and independently brings relief. The home is specifically designed with features to help Schaus maneuver through the mundane tasks of day-to-day life with greater ease.
Schaus walks with the aid of two prosthetic legs and a cane but also uses a wheelchair. For example, kitchen countertops and sinks and lower to he ground to make for easier access.
“We’re just glad he’s home,” she said. “It’s really the best Christmas present you could ask for.”
It took five months to complete the construction on the home, but more than a year of behind-the-scenes work to bring it all together, according to Mayor Rob Ortt, who noted the generosity of a local resident who donated the bulk of the land to make the entire project possible.
Ortt, himself a veteran of Afghanistan, addressed dozens of people under a tent in the Sherwood Avenue driveway, where members of the Sikora Post American Legion, the Marine Corps League Detachment 320 and the Patriot Guard Riders of New York were on hand, some of whom ceremonially unraveled an American flag and hoisted it up a pole in front of the abode before Schaus entered it as a new homeowner.
“You could have picked another area to live,” Ortt told Schaus. “As a veteran I want to thank you for your service and sacrifice. As your mayor I want to welcome you to the neighborhood.”Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.