The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

April 18, 2013

Wounded warrior returns home

Community help needed to pave the way for Tim Senkowski

ANDERSON, Ind. — Tim Senkowski is coming home.

The wounded warrior from Anderson is wrapping up his year-and-a-half long stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Although Senkowski is doing well, he and his family face hurdles.

Senkowski, 30, was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device in October 2011, including the loss of both of his legs, while serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Army infantry with the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. He has been in recovery.

On Thursday, Senkowski will be surrounded by family as he is awarded his Calvary spurs in a special ceremony at Walter Reed.  He will also take part in the retirement ceremony that marks his departure from the Army.  On Monday, he is Indiana-bound.

Veterans organization The Path Home is orchestrating the construction of a home to accommodate the Senkowski family. That includes wife Erica, who has disabilities of her own stemming from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and children Dusty and Embry.

The project is dependent on donations. Enough funding has been received so far for the land purchase. Construction of the home west of Edgewood has yet to begin, but the family is hopeful it will be complete by year’s end.

Limited options

In the interim, Senkowski and his family will be staying with Senkowski’s mother and stepfather, Tamra and JR Rigdon.

“We live in our garage to take care of them,” said Tamra. Still, in order to accommodate Tim’s new needs, the Rigdons’ small Anderson home requires a bathroom that is handicapped-accessible. That project was in the works — until this week.

That’s when Tamra learned that the funding for the bathroom addition fell through, leaving them with no good options for the bathroom before Tim arrives home.

“He’s got to crawl into it and he can’t take a shower in there,” said Tamra of the existing bathroom. She’s reaching out to the community, asking for monetary or material donations to help get the bathroom finished.

“We’ve got the labor. We’ve got the contractors to do it,” said Tamra. She’s also got the materials list for the bathroom, just no money to pay for it. The price tag is just shy of $7,000.

“I’m so beyond stressed, it’s unreal,” said Tamra.

The situation is complicated by income constraints that make simple day-to-day living a challenge. Tim will not begin receiving retirement pay for 90 days. Tamra lost her income after quitting her job to care for Tim.

“He’s going to be home next Monday,” said Tamra. Donations can be made to the PNC bank account set up for Senkowski.

Jay Ricker, founder and president of Anderson-based Ricker Oil Co., is a staunch supporter of Senkowski, having already raised about $20,000 towards Senkowski’s new home.

“I can’t think of anything that we donated to in years that is more important than this type of donation that touches your heart,” said Ricker. He noted that Senkowski suffered his injuries in defense of those at home.   “I don’t think there’s anything more important as a community.”

“We’re getting ready to make a $10,000 challenge donation,” said Ricker.

In the midst of all the struggles, Tamra is also juggling the management of the family’s recently established non-profit Wounded Warrior Homefront. Its purpose is to promote empowerment, social justice, cultivate leadership and enhance the health and well-being of the military, their family members and those who serve in emergency services agencies.

“My kids started this whole thing,” laughed Rigdon. “God love ‘em.”

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0420 - egg drop - 30.jpg Helicopter aids in Easter egg drop

    Four months of planning was gone in about one minute on the Lapel football field Saturday as The River Church held its third annual Easter egg drop. Church pastor Tyson Priest found out more than 22,000 plastic eggs don’t last long when hundreds of local children are racing to pick them up as quickly as possible. But he didn’t seem to mind.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Former Elks building being reborn Just months after it closed, the former Anderson Elks Lodge could be reopening as a banquet hall and catering service. The Anderson Plan Commission on Tuesday will consider a rezoning request from James D. Sargent and Nettie Cox to rezone the building from residential to industrial use.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Funderburk - 04 Man tries to restore father's tainted legacy When news broke earlier this month that the Anderson Dental Clinic had been shut down and several employees, including owner Sally Metzner, had been arrested, Mark Funderburk's main concern was the patients. "A lot of them kept going there because of my dad even after he passed away," he said. "And they didn't deserve this."

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wagons for Warriors asks for donations

    The Pendleton American Legion post is accepting donations for a project called Wagons for Warriors.

    April 19, 2014

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County Commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 20

    Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Friday and Saturday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 19, 2014

  • BIZ - HB0420 - Scott wise -TM Gaining an edge and spreading the word in 2014 Scott owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse with locations in Indianapolis, Muncie, Mishawaka and Bloomington, encourages business owners to interact with customers and use powerful tools such as Twitter, Facebook or even with a blog to their advantage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0216 - Mitch Daniels Purdue office Daniels joins 2016 presidential debate commission

    Mitch Daniels spurned calls to run for the White House in 2012, but the Purdue University president will have a hand in the 2016 race.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

March Staff Photos

Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide