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By Jeff Pack

Community welcomes injured serviceman who will receive house


Last updated 2/4/2019 at 11:09am

Jeff Pack photo

Friends and community members welcome Army Spc. Joseph Paulk Jr. to a celebration on Sunday, Jan. 27 that served as the kick off to a house-building in his honor by Homes for Our Troops.

With flags waving, motorcycle riders leading the way and fire trucks lit up, Army Spc. Joseph Paulk, Jr. was welcomed to Fallbrook at a celebration Sunday, Jan. 27, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1924 Fallbrook.

The event was planned by Homes For Our Troops to celebrate the start of building a specially adapted home in Fallbrook for Paulk who was severely injured during a tour in Afghanistan in 2007.

Paulk was serving with the 546th Military Police Company as the lead driver of a Quick Reaction Force in southern Afghanistan. While on a rescue mission, his convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device, causing the vehicle to flip. Though he was ejected from the vehicle, he was engulfed in flames. Over the next 18 months, he went through 50 surgeries including skin grafts and the removal of all his fingers. He also underwent extensive plastic surgery on his face.

Medically retired, he said he struggles to maintain a safe body temperature with burns covering 80 percent of his body making him sensitive to extreme high and low temperatures and sunlight.

Homes For Our Troops, a national nonprofit organization, hosted the event and featured speakers from sponsors and supporters at the event that was followed by lunch.

Youngren Construction will serve as the general contractor on the project and the company based in Fallbrook has built more than 20 homes so far for Homes for Our Troops.

"For me, personally and as a family, my kids are with me at every function, my wife is with at every function, it's become part of our life," Scott Youngren said. "I didn't serve, so, I don't have that connection. And the least I can do, me and my family can do is try to give a home that you can rebuild your life in. And it's amazing what these homes do."

Homes For Our Troops has built more than 270 homes since 2004 and relies on contributions from donors, supporters and corporate partners for the building of each veteran's home. For more information, visit


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