If you’d asked, four-year-old Matthew Hutcheson would have told you that he wanted to be a paratrooper. He fulfilled his lifelong dream as a member of the U.S. Army, but while on an airborne mission, Sgt. Hutcheson was injured and suffered three traumatic brain injuries. This was in addition to previous injuries he sustained while deployed with the U.S. Army. While in the hospital, Sgt. Hutcheson met his wife, Leslie, an Army medic assisting in his recovery. The Hutchesons’ home wasn’t equipped to help with Sgt. Hutcheson’s recovery, so Operation Finally Home stepped in to help and offered to provide the Hutchesons’ with a brand-new home, one suited make their family’s life easier. Watch the Hutcheson family’s emotional journey as they receive their new mortgage-free home, the place where they will raise their children and meet their future grandchildren. Southern Living is proud to partner with Operation Finally Home. To make a donation to this great organization and contribute to their mission of honoring our nation’s veterans, please visit operationfinallyhome.org/buildinghope or text BuildingHope to 41444.
Army Commander that I have, Tommy Franks. 82nd Division Commander, [MUSIC] 112. These are all coins from where I worked at in my career, or I was awarded during my career. From the time I was a very young boy from the age of probably four or five, my mother could've told you, I wanted to be a paratrooper my whole life. [SOUND] Some lower jumpers below me, said that when they were on the ground, they saw a big puff of dust as I hit, slammed pretty hard. Seems it all lost lift in my canopy at about 70 feet above ground level. [MUSIC] I'm not exactly sure why, I can only assume That someone come underneath me and stole my air. The lower jumper is here with the canopy, if this canopy loses air it will collapse, there is nothing you can do. Down he goes. They let me go to sleep on the floor of the emergency room. That is a bad thing with a brain injury. [MUSIC] When he woke up he was combative, and that is a very large sign of a brain injury. The neurologist that took his case, started looking through his files and everything and realize he shouldn't have been on active duty After the IE accident before, and then he definitely should not have been jumping out of an airplane. [MUSIC] A beautiful young new paratrooper came into town named Leslie Sherman. She was one of the medics, and we got together during the treatment for my final brain injury. Injury. Then I pretty much knew from the day I met her that I was gonna marry her. I met Matthew the very first day I was there. He was the very first person I met. We just kinda clicked. With my wife being a medic in the military and EMT qualified, I think my carrier at the same time. It really helps a lot that she understands symptoms. She understands what's going on. Memory. Anger. Patience is one of my biggest things. I'm trying to learn patience again. She's a great woman. I'm pretty lucky to have her. [MUSIC] The home we live in is a little aggravating for the fact that it's two floors, and going up and down steps is difficult for me with my back. Can't really go up to tuck the kids in bed. If he goes up, that's it! We're done! We're upstairs the rest of the night. And, one day, there might come a point where stairs But will they be used at all? Get one of those cool little old man chairs. [SOUND] [LAUGH] [MUSIC] Tonight we have a couple special guests here, couple true American heroes. Sergeant Matthew Hutchison and his wife Army Medic Leslie Hutchison and their three kids, would you all come up here. We're gonna build you a bran new home. [APPLAUSE] Thank you [INAUDIBLE] I'm speechless. This offers requirement whole experience for me is probably the most humbling experience I've ever had. And I never deserved something so great and so wonderful for my family. My children and wife, of course, they deserve it. They're some of the greatest people in the world. But me? Just an old broke down soldier. There's nothing special about me. [APPLAUSE] Welcome home. Daddy! Lots of folks came out from the neighborhood, local community. [APPLAUSE] The girls were so excited. I don't think we could have cut that ribbon fast enough. [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] Welcome home, Hutchinson family. Wow My God. It looks beautiful. It's just perfect. Guys, to see our pictures on the wall just put that personal touch. You know it kind of made me realize, it's not a model home it's mine. Is this our dinning room? Yeah. There's your master bedroom. My god, that's awesome. Look how my flowers, they made it. Those are the very first flowers I got her in Alaska, nine years ago. [MUSIC] Our master bedroom is the perfect setting. Holy cow. There's a free-standing tub here. That's mine. You can have a shower. My God, is that doors? [LAUGH] Holy cow. And a water. This is amazing. The hot water is right underneath this, so you won't wait long for hot water. This is like my dream shower. Would few times of isolation is soothing in my life, is a good hot shower. [MUSIC] It's amazing. It's hard to grasp that it's ours. [CROSSTALK]. When everybody leaves tonight and we close the doors. It's ours. It's very awing. Tonight is gonna be good. Sit on the couch and knowing we don't have to leave. Coming home here. to me is, it's peace. I've lived in many places, many homes, I've been around the world. This is easily the most calming and relaxing point of my life to know that I will never have to move again. My kids will be here, my grandkids. Everything that has been given to us on this There's been the greatest, most top of the line thing that can be given. [MUSIC] It's humbling [LAUGH] You've never known how small you are until you sit in something so big as this. [MUSIC]