Disabled Stoughton veteran receives new house

Disabled Stoughton veteran receives new house

Sometimes it takes a community to make a house a home.

Iraq war veteran and Stoughton resident Russell Dennison and his family are getting a new, mortgage-free house thanks to national nonprofit Homes for our Troops, complete with handicap accessible features and single-floor access.

An IED explosion in Afghanistan took both of Dennison’s legs in 2012, though Dennison, known for his positive attitude, is making the best of a bad situation.

“Before I had a chance to say anything, he goes ‘It’s all right, because it looks like I’m going to be taller than you now,” Grant Dennison, Russell’s brother, said. “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard.” 

Dennison heard about Homes for our Troops while at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, filling out applications between rehabilitation sessions. 

While the organization has been active across the country since 2004, this is only the fifth house being built in Wisconsin through the program.

Piggly Wiggly and many other businesses from the greater Dane County area have donated to help build Russell Dennison’s home, including William Ryan Homes, which is taking on the majority of construction duties. 

“Homes for our Troops sent us a video on Staff Sgt. Dennison and his experience,” Christopher Ehlers of William Ryan homes said. “We rallied and said we absolutely have to build this house for this gentleman.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the VFW in Stoughton Saturday. Russell and his wife, Samantha, along with their two children, will most likely be able to move into their new home in nine or 10 months, according to the builders.