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Injured Veteran Finally Home, Thanks to You!

Dory Nissen


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U.S. Marine James Poggi had an important job in Afghanistan — getting helicopters and their crew in the air and back safely in the middle of war. When he was deployed, James left behind his wife Stefanie and son Logan.  Stefanie remembers her constant concern.

“I thought about him 24/7, all day, every day. It was very stressful,” Stefanie says.

One night, James was hit by flying debris while he helped bring in a damaged chopper.  
“I ducked and it clipped me. I went down,” James says.

James had no idea the extent of his injuries until blackouts and seizures started. He was diagnosed with severe nerve damage and spinal cord compression — and honorably discharged. After multiple surgeries over 7 years to try to save his leg, doctors amputated. Stefanie faithfully stood by him while they navigated their new norm.

“In sickness and in health, right? It’s what we’re all about. That’s right,” Stefanie says. 

Even with Stefanie’s devoted help, maneuvering through their split level home was nearly impossible for James.

“He would have to crawl everywhere. He was constantly falling down stairs. The doorways were too narrow. His chair wouldn’t fit through any of them. It didn’t work at all,” Stefanie says. 

James and Stefanie’s situation changed when CBN’s Helping the Home Front teamed up with Operation Finally Home, who builds custom houses for disabled warriors. The first step was a surprise groundbreaking ceremony.

“The kids were like, ‘Are we part of this parade?’ I don’t know what’s happening.  I guess we are part of it! No way. Nah-uh, not us,” James says. 

Then Homes By Design started building. Before the house was complete, the community was invited to write messages and post them inside the framework. The Poggis came to see the progress.  

“They are so heartwarming,” Stefanie says. “And everyone thanking him for his service and wishing our family good luck. We can’t wait to be  home. We are home, but we can’t wait to stay home.”

Soon the house was complete. Volunteers helped interior designer Tiffany Nimmons with the finishing touches. Then, it was time to welcome the Poggis home. 

The Poggi family is now settled into their brand new home. 

“People keep telling me that I'm a hero,” James says. “I'm not. They are. The real heroes are the people who give us something to wake up for every day — CBN, Homes By Design, Operation Finding Home. Even down to the people who gave a dollar. They are the real heroes.”

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About The Author

Dory Nissen

Dory Nissen has been story telling for CBN since 1993. She joined CBN when her husband received orders to Norfolk, VA. She loves sharing stories of God’s grace. Her most recent focus has been on producing stories showcasing how CBN financially helps military families. As a Navy sailor’s wife, she understands the challenges military life brings.