SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A veteran who lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan that nearly cost him his life is getting a new custom-built home.

Staff Sergeant Jason Ross's journey to the American dream has been anything easy. In fact, it's been a nightmare. In 2011, Ross stepped on an IED. He was given a 2 percent chance to live.

"I realized my right leg was gone, then checked and realized the left leg was gone. I distinctly remember sticking my hands up, realizing I still had my hands and saying I'm good. I can still move forward. that mindset I've kept since the injury," he said.

It's that attitude that has kept the father of two going through over 200 surgeries. Now a new "smart home" will help make life normal again.

"The whole house is basically going to be set up for me so things that were common place, you don't really think about, it's going to make it that much easier," Ross said.

It was all made possible by the Gary Sinise Foundation. You probably know Sinise as the actor who played Lieutenant Dan in "Forest Gump." He wasn't able to make it to Tuesday's groundbreaking, but he wrote Ross a letter, saying in part, "This is the least we can do in appreciation for his sacrifices. It is our hope that this home represents in some small way the sincere gratitude we feel."

"Being with him, seeing what he does... very fortunate. Gary Sinise is a wonderful human being. He walks the walk and talks the talk," Ross said.

Once it's built, you'll find Ross in his kitchen, finally enjoying the dream he fought bravely to protect.

"I'm just glad that I'm going to have my own home for the first time. It's been a long road, it's one step closer and soon I'll be home," he said.

Under the RISE Program, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building custom smart homes for our nation's most severely wounded heroes.