Home built by veterans for veterans unveiled in Huntington Station

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HUNTINGTON STATION -

Disabled Long Island veterans now have a new home to call their own thanks to other veterans.

Nonprofit organization Beacon House unveiled the new home for veterans in Huntington Station Monday.

The home was built by veterans who took part in a United Way program called VETS Build.

The free program trains Long Island veterans in home-building skills that focus on green construction and technology.

"They went through six weeks of intensive high-performing building training," says Rick Wertheim, of United Way.

Veteran Oswaldo Perez says the training and certificate program got him back on his feet.

"It helped me secure employment. I have been working now for nine months," says Perez.

Organizers say the home is completely off the grid, creating its own energy.

Along with the ribbon-cutting Monday, several Long Island veterans also graduated from the VETS Build program.

Frank Amalifitano heads Beacon House, which will own and operate the home. It also runs 40 other group homes for homeless veterans across Long Island. He says the VETS Build program not only gives veterans a new skill, but also a sense of purpose.

"It is really heartwarming because I'm a Vietnam veteran, and there was nothing like this when we came back from Vietnam," says Amalifitano.

The high-efficiency green home will house five homeless veterans with special needs.

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