By Dana Bartholomew, Daily News Staff Writer
Army veteran Joshua Murphy was standing outside a schoolyard in Santa Clarita when its fire alarm began to clang.
He suddenly found himself back in Iraq, where his guard tower was under attack.
“Bombs were dropping. I was seeing military vehicles rushing around. I was hearing incoming whistles with mortars. I was scared,” said Murphy, 38, a former Army specialist from Valencia, recalling an episode that happened two years earlier.
“In my mind, I was going for cover.”
Disabled by a mortar blast and horrific flashbacks, Murphy has been under 24-hour care by his wife Windie since he returned from Iraq in 2008.
To help with his rehabilitation, the couple’s home will be retrofitted Saturday with handicap-accessible features, thanks to the nation’s only Habitat for Humanity program tailored to veterans.
With the Murphys’ home, Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley will launch its three-phase “Santa Clarita Valley Habitat for Heroes” campaign.
Aimed at the Valley’s 10,000 veterans, it hopes to serve 700 who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, many with war disabilities. The nonprofit plans to modify vets’ homes, renovate foreclosed properties for veterans to buy, and offer life skills to needy veterans. To read more visit www.dailynews.com