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Veterans Day Celebrations

***UPDATE MONDAY 10:05 P.M.***A mid-Missouri marine paralyzed from the waist down, now has a new home. An enemy sniper shot Corporal Tyler Huffman while serving in Afghanistan in Decmber 2010. The bullet pierced his lung and severed his spinal cord. The community stepped up, raised money and built a home for Huffman and his family. Huffman entered his new home for the first time Monday, and explained everything he once took for granted has turned into an hourly struggle for him. Hundreds gathered to support Huffman as he received the keys to his new home. construction took about six months and includes features designed to make it easier for him to move about and use his living space. “The entire home is automated — all the lights can be controlled through an iPad,” Builder Scott Schaeperkoetter said. Wider hallways will also help Huffman move through his home more freely. And automated features in his kitchen will enable him to lower the stove and cabinets to make them more accessible. Huffman said he could never have imagined this before. “You couldn’t ask for a better house I mean you can’t build a better one than this — this is everything we wanted that’s the way this house was built.”Huffman added, the entire process has been long and very emotional. He says he is grateful for the way the community has reached out to help him, and that this will make it easier for his family to move on with life. “We have been out in the community we’ve been welcomed so much that the only thing we have to get used to is the house,” Huffman said. ***ORIGINAL STORY***The rain on Sunday stopped Columbia’s Veterans Day Parade before it even started, but the Veterans Day ceremony went on as scheduled inside at the University of Missouri.At the same time, soldiers and Air Force members continued marching in a 24-hour vigil outside the Boone County Courthouse. They began Saturday at 11:11 a.m. and finished that same time Sunday in the rain and cold, all to honor the veterans who fought for freedom.”This is important to remember everyone who came before us and the shoulder in which we stand upon we have all the memorials here for everyone who has died in battle from World War One on and it’s important to remember what we came from and who we lost in those wars and our freedoms that we have today,” said Matthew Mcclelann with the UM Fighting Tigers.Sunday may be Veterans Day, but Monday is the observance of the national holiday. That means some federal, state, county and city offices will be closed. It also means there’s no mail delivery Monday and most banks and financial institutions will be closed in observance. Jefferson City’s Tyler Huffman will be given the key to his new smart home at 1:30 p.m Monday. ABC 17 News has been reporting how that community has come together for the Purple Heart veteran, including a July fundraiser with actor Gary Sinise’s Lieutenant Dan Band.Huffman was shot by enemy sniper in Afghanistan in December 2010. The bullet pierced his lung and severed his spinal cord. The ceremony will take place at the new house on Martin Way.

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