A West Haven veteran narrowly escaped death during an enemy attack.
The community has since rallied behind Sean Pesce to build him a fitting place to call home.
“He's just an amazing kid that doesn't know what it means to give up,” said Gail Pesce, Sean Pesce's mother.
His friends know him as the definition of an American soldier - faithful, loyal and ready to serve.
“He's the type of person that, he'll give you his last if he has it,” said Xavier Little, a friend. “And he'll always go the extra mile for somebody else.”
They said it's been close to three years since Sean Pesce almost lost his life. He was shot 13 times in Afghanistan while serving his country.
“It was very numbing,” said Jordan Dawkins, a friend.
“I was like, in disbelief at first,” Little said.
Sean Pesce, however, wasn't going to go without a fight, according to his friends.
“It's a miracle that he's still alive,” said Chaz, with 99.1 WPLR's Chaz & AJ morning show.
He's since been on a long road to recovery.
While Sean Pesce will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he said he doesn't let it define him.
“It's really hard to step right from the battlefield and get back into civilian life,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
Chaz and AJ said they wanted to help.
They organized a gala to raise money toward building Sean Pesce a new house that would suit his needs.
Homes For Our Troops builds them. The group specifically adapts the homes for severely injured veterans.
“[He should have] not only the access to get in and out of the house, but access to get in and out of the shower without getting the wheelchair wet,” Chaz said. “[Also] to be able to roll underneath the sink in a wheelchair.”
Fellow veterans, friends and members of the community came to the sold out event.
“A great man deserves great support,” said David Baggs, who went to basic training with Sean Pesce.
Sean Pesce said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.
“I live comfortably,” he said. “But having my own house obviously, it's a little bit better. I can really start fresh from there and get my life back on track.”
“It blows my mind, to be honest with you,” Gail Pesce said. “It restores my faith in humanity.”
While Sean Pesce's story had a positive ending, he and his family said they wanted to stress the importance of reaching out to all of our veterans.
“Remember all our vets,” Gail Pesce said. “They're still out there. A lot of them are falling through the cracks.”
Anyone who missed the fundraiser but would still like to help, check out Homes For Our Troops here.
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