Todd Love is a scuba-diving, alligator-wrestling, sky-diving skier. He also happens to be a triple amputee.
Last week, Love, a Marine Corps corporal, moved into a new home that makes everyday activities as second nature as his extreme-sport hobbies. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation presented Corporal Love with the key fob to the Douglasville “smart home.”
The 3,700 square foot home is part of the foundation’s Building for America’s Bravest program. Other organizations that contributed to the home’s construction included the Gary Sinise Foundation and Home Depot.
Each aspect of the four-bedroom, three-bath home is tailored to the specific wants and needs of Love, a third-generation Marine who lost both legs and his left arm after triggering an improvised explosion device during his service in Afghanistan in October 2010. The home includes motorized cabinetry and doors, automated toilets, room-to-room intercom, and multi-zone audio, heating, and cooling.
Love’s home was the first of four others presented throughout the week of Independence Day. At last week’s presentation, Love said he felt “privileged to be in” the group of veterans selected for the high-tech homes. The foundation, which was founded in the memory of New York firefighter Stephen Stiller, who died responding to the 9/11 attacks, personalized Love’s new home with a plaque made from a piece of steel from the World Trade Center engraved with a poem written by Love. The plaque rests atop a Steinway piano, situated in the corner of the living room, next to the fireplace and just inside the front door; a man of many interests, Love also is a pianist and performed a Bach composition from memory shortly after entering his home.
Waiting for the unveiling, sitting in the muggy pre-thunderstorm weather, sticky perspiration beading on my neck and bugs swarming into my hair, the last thing I expected to feel was chills. But Love’s story has that effect. He doesn’t claim to be a hero, but only someone fulfilling his duty. The future plans of the twenty-something aren’t set in stone, but instead filled with optimism and the continuation of his favorite hobbies and passions. “I think that I can give people inspiration, and that’s great and all, but if I could teach people how to inspire themselves, that would be what I would really love to do,” he said.