Bronx native and retired Army Specialist Evan Marcy, a Purple Heart recipient who lost his leg in Afghanistan, was awarded a new mortgage-free home by Building Homes for Heroes and JP Morgan Chase last Tuesday. The ceremony took place at the Engine 50, Ladder 19 firehouse in Morrisania, where Marcy spent much of his childhood.
Marcy’s father Duane Marcy was a member of the same firehouse during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and he served as a first responder in the search and rescue efforts in the months following.
Duane Marcy explained that his son was influenced to dedicate his life to service because he grew up going to the Morrisania firehouse, which has been located on Washington Avenue for almost 50 years, where he was constantly surrounded by the department’s “camaraderie” and “dedication to service.” Evan Marcy, now 39, joined the military following 9/11, and he served as a combat military photographer for five years. In 2009, Evan Marcy was struck by helicopter fire while serving in Afghanistan, and his leg was ultimately amputated above the knee.
“[Evan] really pushes through a lot of different difficulties at times because of his injuries, and this gesture of goodwill is really overwhelming,” Duane Marcy said. “I mean, it’s incredible.”
Evan Marcy has received numerous awards for his service, including the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (5th award), NATO Medal and Army Superior Unit Award.
Building Homes for Heroes has gifted more than 300 homes to injured veterans since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Evan Marcy is receiving the organization’s 343rd home in honor of the 343 FDNY firefighters who died in the attacks.
“I learned firsthand how important it is to back our heroes, and that is what our work is all about,” said Andy Pujol, founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes, in a statement. Pujol was inspired to create Building Homes for Heroes after his involvement as a volunteer in the search and rescue efforts following the 9/11 attacks.
“We’re honored to support Evan, and we hope this gift will serve as a small token of our gratitude for his service and sacrifice as he continues to build a brighter future,” Pujol added.
Engine 50, Ladder 19 founded the FDNY 343 Ride – an annual bicycle trip from Montauk to Washington, D.C. over the course of five days that honors those 343 FNDY members lost on 9/11. The FDNY 343 Ride, which supports Building Homes for Heroes, has raised more than $1.2 million since the ride’s inception in 2011 to support injured veterans.
This year, the ride will start at Connecticut’s 9/11 Living Memorial in Westport and proceed to Evan Marcy’s new home in East Haven, Connecticut.
Evan Marcy is scheduled to receive his new keys on Sept. 9.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Duane Marcy said. “That house is not just bricks and mortar. It’s going to be … basically like a new beginning, a new chapter. And I’m just really thankful and grateful.”
The Bronx Times reached out to Evan Marcy for comment but was unsuccessful.
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