A hero's welcome
Sherwood residents welcomed wounded Grant County Sheriff Jason Rehling to his new home
It's common practice to honor any officer injured in the line of duty, but the local business community has banded together to give a wounded Oregon sheriff a special reward: the keys to a new house.
Former Grant County Sheriff Jason Rehling and his family unlocked the door to their Sherwood home for the first time in September with a crew from the "Dr. Phil Show" taping and hundreds in the community looking on. While the Rehlings knew they would tour their fully furnished home for the first time Sept. 20, they didn't know they'd be arriving by stretch limousine or that there would be a barbecue.
"This is just incredible. It just reinforces in my mind why our community is the best place to live," said Jason Rehling, who was shot in the face while investigating a domestic dispute near John Day in 2003. "Even though it might sound crazy, I would go out and do this again in a heartbeat."
The Rehlings also received a visit from Joe Torrillo, a New York City firefighter who was pulled from the rubble after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He said that while no one can take back what happened to Jason on the day he was shot, it was important for the community to come to his aid.
"This house is a symbol of the commitment and support people were willing to put forth to make life easier for him," he said Wednesday.
More than 100 businesses in and around Sherwood contributed to the project, with Renaissance Homes' Randy Sebastian leading the way in building the house in their Richen Park neighborhood near Sunset Boulevard in Sherwood. Freelance interior designer Lisa Vennes began rallying the community after she saw a national television presentation of Rehling's plight.
The result is a four-bedroom, 3,100-sqaure-foot home that left Rehling's exuberant 10-year-old, Matthew, "speechless," But only temporarily.
"They've made our lives a lot better," he said of donors, "they're doing this for us, I appreciate what they're doing, and thank you."