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'Helping a Hero' home groundbreaking in Bandera

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: United States Army SSG Ed Matayka

Helping a Hero is a newer version Houston-based organization that provides specialized homes adapted to the needs of severely wounded veterans who served during the War on Terror.
Elizabeth McClary, MS, RDN, LD, and development associate with Helping a Hero, has announced work will begin on a home in Bandera for retired SSG Ed Matayka of the United States Army.
A groundbreaking ceremony for Matayka and his family will take place at 10:30 am, Thursday, August 14, at 3099 Bottle Springs Road in Bandera's Bridlegate Ranch subdivision. The entire community is invited to attend. Participants are asked to follow the flags and Helping a Hero signs to the ceremony.
State Representative Jose Menendez, chairman of the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee, along with local dignitaries, veterans and neighbors, as well as members of VFW Post 688, will attend the event.
Matayka was injured in July 2010 when an IED exploded under his patrol vehicle in the Bagram Security Zone. He is a double amputee with a traumatic brain injury, multiple lumbar fractures and left side visual impairment, among other ongoing medical problems.
Matayka and his wife, Karen, are the parents of 16-month-old twins. While serving in the National Guard, Karen Matayka became one of the first five female soldiers assigned to the cavalry in combat. The couple advocates to ensure InVitro fertilization is available to other wounded warriors.
In a prepared statement, Ed and Karen Matayka said they are looking forward to making their home in Bridlegate Ranch and appreciate the patriotism in the Bandera community. "We are grateful to Helping a Hero for designed a fully accessible home to be built by Kenny Mantor of HMC," the statement concluded.