ABILENE, TX. — Veterans Day has a special place in the hearts of many, especially for one West Texas man, who fought day in and day out to continue to serve our country.

Michael Burns is a U.S. Army Veteran. Burns was born and raised in Long Beach, California, but traded the California life for the desert sun of Arizona.

Surrounded by men who led lives of service, he knew the U.S. Army was his calling.

"My father and my grandfather both, when they got out of the military and went into law enforcement so I just kind of thought I was going to follow that same path,” says Burns.

After forming a family, Burns enlisted in the army at the age of 32 in hopes to become a command sergeant one day. Tragically, after his first deployment of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was injured.

“I was in our living area doing laundry in a five-gallon bucket and the fort operating base that we were on…we would get attacked with rockets and mortars almost on a daily basis…and it just so happened that it was one of those days,” says Burns.

Burns was medically retired as a staff sergeant in 2011 after fighting through his injury for several years. Life, as he knew, continued.

"The struggle financially, emotionally the issues of going through multiple limb salvage surgeries, how it was affecting my wife, my kids and those around us,” says Burns.

Thankfully, nonprofits like the Texas Sentinels stepped up to help the Burns family.

The community did their part to build their first veteran home in Abilene.

“It’s not just a house, it’s a home,” says Burns.

For more information over the work of the Texas Sentinels, go to, http://texassentinels.org/tag/abilene/.