A Maryville soldier recently home after months of recovery in a military hospital will soon have a brand new space to unwind.
Master Sergeant Michael Trost, 49, was shot six times in Afghanistan in February. He was serving with the Knoxville based Army Reserve Unit, the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion.
He lost his thumb and forefinger and still struggles to walk. While he was away his friends at New Hope Children's Advocacy Center --where the Trosts volunteer-- decided to take on one of his unfinished projects.
For years, Trost made it his hobby to renovate the old barn on his property.
His friends were worried it would be a constant reminder of his injuries and what he couldn't do.
They worked for weeks to get it ready for the a large group of volunteers to work on Saturday.
"I'm the type of guy that will say, 'No I can do this myself.' Now I'm learning with some of the limitations, I do need help," said Master Sergeant Trost.
Hundreds of fellow soldiers, friends, and family painted, sawed, and sanded to finish what he had started. But they also renovated a workshop in the barn, to give Trost a place to continue with his hobbies.
"It's not going to stop me just because I'm missing a thumb and forefinger," he said. "I'll learn how to do things with my limitations with what I got."
The upstairs will be a den space with bathroom and kitchen where Trost says he will invite friends over to watch football.
"To have my own man cave is a big deal," he said.
The volunteers also honored Trost for his bravery in a ceremony before the build.
State Senator Doug Overby presented him with a proclamation from the Tennessee General Assembly. Mayor Ed Mitchell also issued a proclamation from Blount County.
As much as the Trosts say they'll enjoy the new space, it means even more to them to see how much people care.
"The physical wounds will mend but the emotional wounds last a lot longer. This is a way to help the emotional wounds heal. He's been surrounded by love," said Stephanie Trost, Michael's wife.