Sgt. Toran Gaal was serving with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Sangin, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device exploded by him in June 2011. It was his third deployment.
Set on recovery, Gaal was using his prosthetics by January 2012. He has interned with several publicly traded companies and worked in the House of Representatives with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter. In summer 2015, Gaal hand-cycled across the country to raise money and awareness about fellow injured veterans. He recently earned a bachelor's degree in business. He serves as a volunteer for the Escondido Police Athletic League and coaches basketball for grade-school children.
The Taunton, Mass.-based nonprofit builds homes for service members who lost limbs in combat. The nonprofit presented the home to Gaal at a ceremony at the Park Avenue Community Center in Escondido. He and his family were escorted to the event by members of the Escondido Police Department, Escondido Fire Department and American Legion riders.