A salute to a soldier's sacrifice

A triple amputee and his wife get keys to a new home in Fuquay-Varina

Staff WriterOctober 28, 2008 

— Joey Bozik has taken many symbolic first steps in his recovery from losing both legs and an arm in an explosion while serving with the Army in Iraq. The one he took Monday seemed to be the one he'd been waiting for.

"This is the final piece that will allow my wife and I to put the injury behind us," Bozik said after being handed the keys to a custom-built home donated to him and his wife, Jayme.

The couple are expanding their family; their first child is due this winter. Bozik, who was a sergeant in the 16th Military Police Brigade based at Fort Bragg, was injured in 2004 when his Humvee hit a bomb south of Baghdad. He is walking again with the help of prosthetic limbs.

To celebrate the Boziks' arrival in Fuquay-Varina and to honor his military service, dozens of businesses and organizations worked together to build the couple a home in a new development just south of downtown. The Boziks moved their belongings into the house Monday and had their formal homecoming.

More than 100 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne attended, and the division's band and chorus performed, along with a dance team from N.C. State University and a professional rifle drill team.

Three of the 82nd's Black Hawk helicopters flew over. The Army's Black Daggers parachute team drifted down through a stiff breeze to deliver the keys.

A lot of people contributed to the effort, said emcee Mark Thomas, "But there's really only one person here who made a sacrifice, and that's Joey Bozik."

martha.quillin@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8989

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