by: Chad Washington

Posted: Nov 10, 2021 / 08:06 AM CST / Updated: Nov 10, 2021 / 08:06 AM CST

CYPRESS, Texas (KIAH) – The Cypress community of Towne Lake welcomed home an American hero this Veteran’s Day wee

Almost 15 years to the day since losing both her legs while deployed as a gunner in Afghanistan, Cpl. Sue Downes (retired) is the proud owner of a new, specially adapted home, thanks to the non-profit organization Helping a Hero and local homebuilder Caldwell Homes.

“All our homes are built with love and care, but this one was built with honor,” says Todd Johnson, president of Caldwell Homes and West Point alum who served two tours in Iraq.

On Nov. 28, 2006, moments after she was shot in the hip, Downes was caught in a massive explosion when her Humvee hit several landmines causing significant damage to her spleen, kidney, intestines, hip and legs. Substantial blood loss forced doctors to remove both her legs.

After multiple surgeries, rigorous therapy and a move to Texas, the journey to her new, specially built home is complete.

“We are thrilled to work with Helping a Hero to provide our popular Waterlily plan which incorporates universal-design (ADA) features and thus a great fit for Sue’s needs. As a veteran, it’s a joy to see an American hero being honored during Veteran’s Day week, and we’re grateful for her service.”

This marks the second, specially adapted Helping a Hero home built in Towne Lake.  Caldwell Communities, developer of the top-selling northwest Houston community, donated the homesites for both homes.

“We are so blessed and grateful to play a part in honoring Cpl. Sue Downes, an American hero. Her life has been forever changed through her service to our country and no acts we might take to help her begin to compare to the incredible sacrifice she has made for all of us as Americans,” says Fred Caldwell, chief executive officer of Caldwell Communities.  “We’re honored that Cpl. Sue Downes chose Towne Lake for its award-winning lifestyle and ultimately because she felt a sense of home when she visited. It’s our desire to develop and create communities that enrich lives, and we look forward to Cpl. Sue Downes and her family creating memories in Towne Lake for years to come.”

“When I came to Towne Lake, it just felt like a breath of fresh air,” said Corporal Downes, noting the community’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle, 350-acre lake and miles of winding trails.