"The Extra Mile" - March, 2012 - Steve Bratten of Fort Wayne

By Linda Jackson

March 14, 2012 Updated Mar 14, 2012 at 7:18 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, In (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Lisa long is the mother of 21 year old Brandon Long, a Fort Wayne marine who lost both of his legs when an IED exploded during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan in December of 2010.

She and Brandon have a good friend in Steve Bratten. Steve works part-time at a local Home Depot, in charge of community events.

He also has a huge heart when it comes to local military.

Last year, he and a team of volunteers from Home Depot gathered to build a handicap-accessible ramp at Lisa's house.

Steve's also been designing and helping to raise money to build a house for Brandon, his wife and their little girl, born two days after Brandon was injured.

Lisa says Steve is a hero and angel to her family.

Lisa Long says, "I was on your website... stumbled upon it, and the first thing Ii thought was, wow, I'm gonna nominate Steve! I don't know that we're gonna win, but by golly, Steve's outstanding. He's got to be acknowledged in the community for not only what he does, but for how he touches people and changes the way that everybody has a perspective on our community. Steve's involved in other projects, helping with building the new home for the veterans who don't have a home, and we're gonna help participate with that."

Steve Bratten says, "Home Depot has taken a real taking to veterans projects. There are just so many sacrifices that they give for us. They do without their families, they're in a strange place. Some of them don't know exactly what it is that they're fighting for, but they do it anyway. You know, some people mistake this as there being politics involved. This isn't politics. This is people."

Lisa Long says, "We're very lucky in the aspect that he got to come home. A lot of guys didn't."

Steve wants to share his email address, steverz70@aol.com, in case you might be interested in helping build Brandon's home.

Brandon's receiving treatment and living in Washington, DC right now and hopes to be home for good in August. No word when the house will be built.

A recent fundraiser at the Neon Armadillo in Fort Wayne raised $5,000 for the house.

Please visit the Features section of our website to nominate someone who goes "The Extra Mile."




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