LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Three-year-old Senna couldn't wait to give us a tour and show off the brand-new bunk bed he shares with his older brother.
"Ta-dah!" he said with a giant smile on his face. It's that smile that's provided a big motivation for his dad to heal.
"Mentally I have come a long way since my initial injury. There is still a lot of work to do. I feel at peace with who I am," said Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse.
He was in Iraq in 2006 when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.
"I have my own knee on this side," he said, pointing to his left leg. "So my leg goes down to about here." Turning to his right thigh he said, "and then on this side, my leg stops up here."
But inside this brand-new home near Craig Road and Durango Drive in Las Vegas, Poppenhouse is excited to begin a life he's only dreamed about since his injury.
"I don't know if my family has ever seen me in an environment where I am not struggling."
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony this month, he and his family celebrated receiving the home from Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit that builds and donates homes to veterans — most of whom have sustained life-altering injuries.
"It's kind of hard to imagine that an organization like Homes for Our Troops could rally the community to pull something like this off," Poppenhouse said.
The home sits on about a 1.2-acre lot. Inside there are dozens of modifications for Poppenhouse, who normally uses a wheelchair to get around the house.
"Big and open so the wheelchair can move around."
In the kitchen, the countertops are lower and there's rollout space underneath places like the cooktop. The thresholds in the house are all flat and smooth.
It's these small things that add up to a better quality of life.
"I'm really excited to utilize this shower," said Poppenhouse. "I've been transferring over the top of bathtubs on the slippery seats for 15, 16 years now."
But all of this almost never happened.
"It took about a year to get over the ego and apply." Poppenhouse realized his pride was holding him back and he is encouraging other veterans to avoid the same trap.
"Asking for something like this is probably the hardest step," he said. "So I would say dig deep and go after what you deserve."
He says Homes For Our Troops is currently building other homes in the valley. He's hoping fellow veterans also get the life their service and sacrifice have earned them.
In the meantime, Sgt. Poppenhouse has found his new life in northwest Las Vegas.