PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- In a cramped Port Angeles motel room, after four days of driving across the country with his pregnant wife, two rambunctiouds boys, mother-in-law and a pair of very large dogs, Ammon Lang is ready to go home.
"It's been stressful, to say the least," Lang said.
Adding to that stress is the fact that Lang lost both legs to an Afghanistan IED attack in 2011. He returned to Kansas and moved into a home where he transitioned to a new life as a civilian and as a double amputee. It wasn't always easy.
"It's like being a foreigner in a new land," he said. "After a while you just feel like you have to do something. I have to get out of here."
Get out, they did. The family packed everything they own into a U-Haul and headed for Port Angeles where the nightmare of the battlefield would be left far behind.
"It still feels like a dream," said Lang's wife, Kiri. "I can't believe it's actually happening."
On Saturday the Massachusetts based group "Homes For Our Troops" (www.hfotusa.org) will present Lang with the keys to a brand new, 2,700 square foot house built specifically for him and his growing family. The couple chose Port Angeles for their house to e built because they have family in Renton and have always wanted to live in the Northwest.
Lang says it doesn't always feel like people appreciate the sacrifices made by military families. At the same time, though, he's uncomfortable accepting such a grand gift from complete strangers.
"I didn't go to war for people to say thank you. So when people are thankful for it, it's a weird feeling," he said. "It makes me proud to be an American."
Without the burden of a mortgage, Lang now hopes to go to college and raise his boys on the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. He's living a life that was nearly lost in a place he is is grateful to call home.
"It's a dream come true," said Kiri. "It's nice to feel like we're actually starting our lives."