Firefighters make veteran’s dream of coming home true

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – After having one of his legs recently amputated, Ezekial Barnett wasn’t allowed to go home because of his wheel chair. But now, firefighters are pitching in to build a ramp to the entrance of his home

A dozen Middletown firefighters were busy Wednesday, hammering nails and screwing together boards to form the framework for what will soon be Vietnam Veteran Ezekial Barnett’s ticket back home. His wife Debbie says this isn’t the first time they’ve helped.

“They squatted my husband out of this house and he was just hours away from death,” Barnett said. “If they didn’t do that I wouldn’t have him now. So they are my heroes all the way through.”

For the last few months, the former Marine has been recovering in a rehab facility after his leg amputation. The hospital said he couldn’t come home until a ramp was installed. That’s when the fire department stepped in.

“He’s a vet. He’s served us and it’s time for us to give back and serve him,” Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Tom Snively. “They’re not going to allow him to come home until he has the ramp.”

Barnett served in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War, completing two tours. Debbie Barnett says it’ll mean more than just being able to get in and out of his house.

“He will be able to go outside in his garage and ticker, which is what he has done since he got sick,” Barnett said. “He will be able to take his dog out to the garage with him and hang out with her.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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