KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Purple Heart Recipient Has Home Remodeled

Bookmark and Share

It was back in 2006, that Staff Sergeant Sean Johnson was injured while serving his country overseas.
Six years later, Sean finally received the much deserved, Purple Heart. Now, the veteran is receiving the home he deserves thanks to an program called Operation Opening Doors.

Coming home from a tour in Iraq is supposed to be a happy time, but it was quite the opposite for retired Staff Sergeant Sean Johnson and his wife Melissa.

Sean's wife Melissa said, "When he came back home, we noticed within the first couple of weeks, you go through this readjustment where you think it's the time change, the fatigue and that's he's in a different environment, but then you just start to notice things are wrong."

On March 25, 2006, while serving with Aberdeen's 452nd Ordinance Company in Iraq, a mortar shell exploded near him.

Sean said, "Doctors didn't know what to diagnose me with or what exactly was wrong. They just started treating all the symptoms with medications until they got to the root of the problem."

Sean was eventually diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. With time, he's also lost sight in both his eyes.

"The left half of my right eye I can't see out of by I have vision left on the outside of my right eye," Sean said.

As you can imagine, it made it difficult for him to get around, even in the one place where you should feel the most comfortable.

Sean said, "The floors were a laminate before so they  were really slippery so you always have that chance where you can fall down and hurt yourself."

That's where Operation Opening Doors comes in. Sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, the program remodeled the Johnson's home. With $100,000, additions were added on to the front and back of the home, the bathroom was made handicap accessible and the bedroom bigger.
The kitchen was also remodeled, complete with all the bells and whistles.

Melissa said, "Cabinet doors that close softly so if you slam the door shut it doesn't startle him. If he forgets to close it, they'll kind of close on their own. It's got under cabinet lighting so he can see better, brighter lights on the ceiling so that increases visibility as well."

A small act of kindness, for a man who wouldn't hesitate to serve our country again.

Sean said, "You know you just gotta keep going and if they asked me to do it again, if I could, I would."

Operation Opening Doors is sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota. An open house was held at the home from 3 to 5 o'clock Friday afternoon, a chance for Sean and Melissa to thank the community for their newly remodeled home.

An account has been set up at Plains Commerce Bank for those wishing to support this or future Operation Opening Doors projects. For more information on Operation Opening Doors contact the Associated General Contractors SD Build Chapter at 605-336-9338.

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

Last-Minute Shoppers Hit Downtown Sioux Falls  story with video

South Dakotans are flocking to stores for some last-minute Christmas ...

Police Investigate Sioux Falls Casino Robbery

Sioux Falls Police are investigating their fourth robbery in the past 10 days. ...

SD Reports First Flu Death Of Season

The South Dakota Health Department says A Hutchinson County resident in the ...

Thune: No Airspace Plan Would Be 'Terrible Loss'  Dec. 24

"Heroes Behind The Badges" Blood Drive  Dec. 24

Firefighters Deliver Toys To Kids   Dec. 24

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter  Dec. 24

Antlerless Deer Season Scheduled To Reopen In South Dakota  Dec. 24

Police Release Video Of Berkeley, MO Shooting  Dec. 24

Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites Open Friday  Dec. 24

Capitol Christmas Tree Display Ends Saturday  Dec. 24

Court Reverses Protection Order Against Man  Dec. 24

SD Farm Bureau Announces Funds For New Fair Building  Dec. 24

Mount Rushmore Receives Lighting System Donation  Dec. 24

The Daily Scoop: 12-24-14  story with video  Dec. 24

Santa Answers Questions From Kids  story with video  Dec. 24

SF Railyard Redevelopment Moves Forward  Dec. 23

Families Reunite Just In Time For Christmas  story with video  Dec. 23

Alcohol Related Crashes On The Decline In SD  story with video  Dec. 23

SD Gov. Daugaard Names New Game, Fish Secretary  Dec. 23

KDLT News Archive

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter

A St. Paul woman is facing a second-degree murder charge ...

Keurig Recalls 'Mini Plus' Coffee Makers

Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve ...

Outbreaks Of Norovirus Are Hitting MN Hard

Outbreaks of norovirus are hitting Minnesota hard. ...

Firefighters Shop For Hospitalized Kids   Dec. 23

SD Middle School Teacher Sentenced On Drug Charge  Dec. 23

Tensions Mount In Aftermath Of Shooting By Police Officer  Dec. 23

Families Reunite Just In Time For Christmas  story with video  Dec. 23

Alcohol Related Crashes On The Decline In SD  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT News Archive

Zenner, Weineke All-Americans again!

PHILADELPHIA -- South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner and ...

Luverne rallies past Totino-Grace in hockey thriller  story with video

Freshman sensation Jaxon Nelson helped the Luverne Cardinals erase a ...

Jacks win streak snapped by #14 Utah  story with video

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Freshman Brekkott Chapman scored a career-best 22 points ...

HBC beats Luverne in boys hoops  story with video  Dec. 23

Krogman leads Northern Wolves  story with video  Dec. 23

Hughes signs extension with Twins  story with video  Dec. 23

Buchta honored by USHL  story with video  Dec. 23

Ashley and Ward honored by NSIC  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top