Thousands of North Texans came together Sunday night to help a retired army sergeant get a new home.
Surviving more than 14 IED explosions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sergeant Peter Strauch has gone above and beyond the call of duty for his country.
"It was a lot of fun, I gotta say. It was a blast," said Strauch.
He can joke about it now, but the most recent blast in 2010 nearly killed him.
During his second combat tour in Afghanistan, a 300 pound IED, buried 12 feet underground, blew up directly beneath his seat in his squadron’s army vehicle.
"The saving grace was that it was buried as deep as it was, and it saved a lot of lives,” said Strauch.
He often slurs his speech and has damaged motor skills, despite two years of therapy for traumatic brain injury. His pain level is a constant 7, and that gets worse when he gets migraines, "It's a sobering experience. It puts a lot of things into perspective".
Strauch is a single dad, living in Argyle with his dad and two daughters, but not for long.
Founder of Smiles Charity, Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, is building Strauch a home in Little Elm. It will be the eighth home built by the charity for a disabled veteran.
"They're used to being the strong one and they don't want a hand out. We want to just give them a hand up," says Dr. Buchanan.
Thousands showed up to the Sunday night's concert to raise money for the new house, headlined by Country music artist Frankie Ballard.
Strauch says the support he's received as a disabled veteran in Texas is overwhelming. His feeling this Memorial Day weekend is one he wishes for every veteran, "I've been trying to digest some sort of emotion. I'm a man to begin with. I have trouble enough with a basic couple so this is a little hard to describe”.
Organizers hope to have the home ready in January.