Key ceremony set Saturday for soldier's home in Elysburg
ELYSBURG - A ceremony this Saturday will welcome home a soldier wounded in combat when he receives the keys to his brand new house.
U.S Marine Cpl. David A. Noblit, a native of Herndon who lost both his legs and suffered a severe injury to his left arm in a 2010 IED explosion at Patrol Base Fulod, Afghanistan, will receive the deed and keys to a home specially fitted for him.
It was back in July when Noblit and his family, wife Amanda and their son, Cayden, were present when a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted through the Homes For Our Troops, a non-profit organization that builds specially adapted homes for disabled veterans. The group's mission statement is "Building homes, rebuilding lives."
A 2007 graduate of Line Mountain High School and a member of the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, Noblit is a son of Dana and Dave Noblit Sr., of Herndon, and has been living with his in-laws, Pat and Bill Frank, of Selinsgrove. The Noblits new home, at 26 Heartland Blvd., will mark the ninth home the organization has built in Pennsylvania. Since its founding, the group has built over 130 homes in 38 states.
In his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Noblit talked about the explosion that changed his life forever and was thankful for this second chance.
"I thought my life was over in 2010, but I've learned that life is never over, especially when you've been given a second chance," Noblit said in July, "My message to everyone, especially veterans who have been injured in the line of duty, is to never give up.
Chris Mitchell, community outreach supervisor for Homes For Our Troops, said the organization doesn't consider what they do as charity.
"It's our moral obligation to take care of these men and women in the service who have risked their lives for us," he said.
The local community of Elysburg has been a great partner, Mitchell said.
"The community has been phenomenal to work with and very supportive in helping us achieve our goals. It's a very supportive community to welcome David and Amanda to it," he said.
When Noblit was welcomed to the community in July, he was transported by special escort of police and emergency vehicle along with signs lining the streets of Elysburg welcoming him to the neighborhood. This time, said Mitchell, the Patriot God Riders organized local motorcycle groups to escort the family to their new home.
The Shamokin group Citizens for a Better Community is hoping that even more come out on Saturday for the 11 a.m. key ceremony.
"We want people to line up on Route 487, waving flags and holding signs in support of David and welcoming him home," said CBC's Angie Arnold.
The ceremony will have several speakers, including representatives from Homes For Our Troops, the governor's office and the Ralpho Township Board of Supervisors, Mitchell said.
CBC is also looking for any local businesses to donate food and drinks for the dignitaries and the public attending the ceremony. Anyone willing to donate can contact Arnold at (570) 648-6294.