ORANGEVALE, Calif. (KTXL) — A national nonprofit will be using its resources to make the life of a local veteran a little easier.
“At 18, sir, I was a smart aleck kid,” explained Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Field.
Field, a Northern California native and self-described wise guy, spent 22 years in the Marine Corps — over two decades of service filled with pride and patriotism.
When he first thought about joining, Field said he didn’t care about longevity. Instead, he had one thing in mind.
“I knew going into the Marine Corps if I made it through boot camp, I would be a better person,” he told FOX40. “And yes, I did think it made a better person.”
Field would go on to serve as a mechanic with the 8th Transportation Battalion during Operation Desert Storm. He would later return to the Middle East in 2003 during the initial invasion of Iraq with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, and then again in 2009 in Afghanistan.
He called the experience life changing and enjoyable.
Field retired in 2013 and all was right in the world. But two years later, he started experiencing mobility issues.
In 2017, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“Running the San Francisco Marathon, my right foot felt like I sprained it, but I didn’t,” Field explained.
He said doctors were wary of diagnosing ALS because it was a death sentence — but Field welcomed it.
“I was grateful to hear a diagnosis,” he said. “I knew what was going on with my body at the time.”
Now, the 51-year-old veteran is unable to walk and needs a wheelchair.
Currently, he’s being cared for in San Diego. But soon, he will move into a brand new home.
“I was in disbelief that I was getting the opportunity,” Field said.
The nonprofit Homes For Our Troops will be building him a house on a vacant lot in Orangevale.
“We take the rent and the mortgage off the table for them,” said Homes For Our Troops Executive Director Bill Ivey. “So, once they move into the house, they don’t have the obligation other than to live in the house.”
Field’s house is one of nine ongoing projects in California. The nonprofit has already completed 37 statewide projects and more than 300 across the country.
“A guy who has put it all on the line for his country,” Ivey said.
Field said the four-bedroom home will help him tremendously. Lower countertops, a rolling shower and widened doorways will all be built-in to help him.
His sister and primary caregiver, Teri Rickett, is already making plans.
“We’re excited to have holidays at his house next year,” she told FOX40.
Construction on the home is expected to begin in a few weeks and Field could move in the next six to nine months.