Injured Marine Vet Receives Mortgage-Free Smart Home In New Jersey

Peter Haskell
December 23, 2019 - 11:45 am
United States Marine Scott Nokes of Howell.

Doug Hood via Imagn


HOWELL, N.J. (WCBS 880) — A hero veteran will live in comfort thanks to the generosity of others.

Retired Marine Cpl. Scott Nokes served two terms in Afghanistan and contracted an infection that cost him his most of his vision and both of his legs below the knee.

Now, the 28-year-old former volunteer firefighter is gaining back some of his independence with a life-changing gift from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation — a mortgage-free, custom-built smart home in Howell.

"Today is the day we give back some of his independence," said the foundation's CEO and chairman, Frank Siller. "Things he can do from a wheelchair. Cook from a wheelchair because once they're in their homes, they're not on their prosthetics. So they need cabinets and stuff that'll lower down to the height that they're in in a wheelchair."

The thermostat and blinds in the home work on voice-activated commands.

To help Nokes navigate the space, he was given a 3D-printed model that he could touch with his fingers to "feel" his way around and learn the layout.

“This winter I’ll be able to change the temperature in the house without guessing because everything is voice-controlled. It's going to be incredible — it’s a simple thing, but makes a big difference,” Nokes said. “There are no words for it « it is the most incredible gift I can receive. I will use this home to help others and live my life by the Foundation’s motto, ‘while we have time, let us do good.’”

Helping injured veterans has become part of the group's mission. 

"Our foundation was born from Sept. 11, 2001. We know we went to war because of what happened that day," said Siller, who created the foundation in memory of his firefighter brother who was killed on 9/11.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has built 85 homes for injured vets around the country.