ONLY ON 3: Wounded Warrior, mom react to break-in


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Wounded Warrior gave away a home, only to have his own stuff stolen.

Last month, Tom McRae reported a burglary at his Maple Hill home. About $5,000 worth of belongings were taken from a garage on the property while he wasn’t home. McRae is currently living in a rental home while “Building for America’s Bravest” begins the process of constructing a new smart home for the veteran. McRae lost both legs, an arm and an eye serving in the Marine Corps as an EOD technician. McRae stepped on a bomb while a deployment in Afghanistan, but the single dad said he has found normalcy.

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“I do most of the same stuff that I used to do I just do it differently it takes some more time,” McRae said.

McRae said the gift of the new home was something he wasn’t expecting, but that gift inspired him to give back. McRae is giving his current home away for free to a family down the street who has been living in a home damaged by Hurricane Floyd. The teacher of the little girl who lives there organized a fundraiser to pay for the moving costs of McRae’s home.

“It’s nice to be able to give back,” McRae said. “I’ve been helped out so much, and I’m somebody that really doesn’t feel like I deserve that help.”

His mom Carolee Ryan said even though the items can be replaced, that’s not the point.

“He was giving something back to the community, a home to somebody that truly needed it, and for someone to come in and take stuff,” Ryan said. “As a mom I did not raise my children that way, and I truly feel sorry for the people that have done this.”

While McRae said the lost tools are upsetting, he just thinks about the fact that next year, both he and his neighbors will be living in new homes.