JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cmdr. Glen Akins remembers Tyler Southern well from Tyler's four years at Mandarin High in the JROTC.
Tyler always had a smile on his face, said Akins.
He still does, in fact, despite his challenges now as a triple amputee. Tyler is a marine who was almost killed in Afghanistan.
Akins said he's rallying teachers and current JROTC members at Mandarin High to help with Operation Thumbs Up.
First Coast News is teaming up with Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit group which has built homes nationwide for severely wounded veterans since 9-11.
Akins said Tyler is an excellent example of service and a reminder of how dangerous the work is for our military.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Akins said he remembers when some people did not treat veterans with any respect. Now he finds it encouraging that so many are supporting Tyler.
He said his students can paint, hammer and do any task needed to provide Tyler and his bride-to-be the new home, which will be built in St. Johns County.
If your or your group wants to help, email Jennifer at Jennifer Fiorentino [JFiorentino@homesforourtroops.org]
MORE: Operation Thumps Up
First Coast News