Andrew Connolly's Widow Talks About New Vet Housing Act
By Lauren DeWitt, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa - On Monday, President Obama signed into law the "Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act." The law extends a program that allows disabled veterans to retro-fit their homes to make them more accessible.
KCRG-TV9 was able to talk to Jennifer Connolly, the widow of Andrew Connolly, a National Guardsman who was the inspiration for the law.
On July 30th, Jennifer Connolly and her son, Brody, celebrated a birthday. This was unlike any other birthday, it was for Jennifer's soul-mate and Brody's father, Andrew Connolly.
"It's kind of Ironic that on his birthday or shortly after this bill went through and he is still continuing to pay it forward," said Connolly.
The act is named for the late Dubuque guardsman who, after returning from service overseas, developed a tumor on his spine. Andrew quickly lost his ability to walk, and applied for a federal veterans grant to help build this wheel-chair accessible home.
The home was not just accessible for Andrew, but for his family, including his son Brody, who has a rare muscle disease that restricts his breathing.
"With this house he was able to have a roll in shower, so he was able to shower himself, and get into the kitchen," said Connolly.
This Iowa National Guardsman, husband and father, died a year ago. The law that allowed him to stay in his home was going to expire in December, but his persistence proved successful- and the benefit is extended for a decade.
"I really wish he would have been able to get the phone call when the bill had passed, but I think right now he is probably smiling down on us and giving us a thumbs up," said Connolly.
What's On KCRG