For almost 15 years, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) has been building and donating specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives. These homes, with over 40 special adaptations, help restore some of the freedom and independence lost to injuries like multiple amputations, partial or full paralysis, traumatic brain injury, and vision and hearing loss. Enabled by a vast network of individual supporters and corporate sponsors, like Budget Blinds®, these homes are awarded, mortgage-free, so Veterans can focus on recovery and family, building a future with confidence and assurance.
Budget Blinds gives new windows to their worlds
Since 2014, as the official window coverings sponsor for HFOT, Budget Blinds has been providing custom faux wood blinds from our private label Signature Series® collection into every house that HFOT has built across the country. With franchisees in all 50 states, they are our “feet on the ground” that bring this partnership to life by providing expert measuring and professional installation services for the Veterans and their families. Springs Window Fashions®, our trusted manufacturing partner, donates the blinds that bring beauty, functionality and energy efficiency to every home.
- White faux wood blinds can be enhanced with colorful fabric valances, drapery panels or patterned curtains to match a home’s décor
- Adjustable louvers control light and privacy to the preferred openness
- Faux wood blinds give the beauty of real wood with moisture-resistant qualities that make them appropriate for every room, including kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms where moisture can be a problem
- Specialty motorized blinds in the master bath provide additional safety by eliminating the need to reach across the tub to adjust the window covering
- Window blinds help control heat gain in the summer and keep out cold air in the winter, saving on energy bills all year long
Budget Blinds is honored to stand with Homes for Our Troops and all its sponsors to provide the specially adapted homes that give accessibility and freedom to injured Veterans through adaptations like zero-threshold doorways, hands-free door openers, hardwood flooring, wider hallways and doorways for wheelchair accessibility, lowered countertops in kitchens and bathrooms for roll-under convenience, accessible showers and tubs, pull-down cabinets, and more.
Meet Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Grashen
In 2013, on his first deployment in Afghanistan, LCPL Grashen stepped on a 20-lb pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED) and lost both his legs due to the blast. He remained conscious during the whole process of getting him on the helicopter to safety. He says, “I didn’t want to look down, but I remember reaching down and felt the bone of my left leg.”
His wife, Miya, received a call from his squad leader that he had been in an accident and lost both legs. He finally was able to call from the hospital in Afghanistan and she shares, “To hear his voice was amazing, to know that he was okay, and he was so happy just to hear my voice. He was comforting me, telling me that everything was going to be okay, that we would see each other soon.” Months of surgeries and therapy at Walter Reed Medical Center got him walking and, eventually, running on his prosthetics.
Matthew keeps active with wheelchair basketball, running, hiking, long-distance walking, swimming, and weightlifting. He’s competing in the Invictus Games, the only international sporting event for wounded/injured servicemen and women, September 2018, in Sydney, Australia. He and Miya have two children, Jonah and Serena, and they’ve chosen Southern California to live and raise their family, to be close to the VA and Miya’s family.
The new specially adapted HFOT home in Temecula will give them a fresh start to making future dreams come true. Matthew is in school for a two-year culinary degree and the specially adapted kitchen will allow him the freedom to cook. “I look forward to working in the kitchen. I like to do family events, whether it’s for a game or a holiday, and cook for everybody. I plan on pursuing a career as a chef and eventually work my way to restaurant ownership.” They call the new home a blessing and a gift, and Matthew says he is incredibly grateful to HFOT and its supporters. “It is a humbling experience just to know that there are people out there that truly care about the happiness and welfare of our Veterans. Thank you for giving us a true home.”
The long-anticipated moment, cutting the ribbon to their new forever home--from left to right, Bill Ivey, HFOT Executive Director, LCPL Matthew Grashen, Miya, Serena and Jonah
For Tony and Kenda Richerson, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Temecula, this is their eighth HFOT home. When asked about another opportunity, Tony said, “I’m in!” Installing custom blinds in each home is a tangible way to say thank you and add comfort and convenience. With family connections in the military and on deployment, Tony is ever ready to serve. “I am honored to help Homes for Our Troops provide our combat Veterans and their families the things that they need after sacrificing for us.”
Hear Matthew and Miya share their journey by clicking here.
Meet Army Sergeant Lyndon Sampang
After witnessing the events of 9/11, SGT Sampang joined the Army National Guard in Alaska, and first deployed in 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, he went on active duty and in 2010 was on deployment to Afghanistan when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. He was knocked unconscious and awoke later in the ER. “I saw this bright light and said to myself, I’m dead.” He sustained severe injuries to his right leg that resulted in amputation below the knee, and shrapnel in his left leg.
He had video chatted with his wife, Cindy, the day before going on patrol and she waited impatiently for his call the next day that he was safely returned. She recalls, “I received a phone call and I thought it was him, but the guy on the phone said he had been ambushed and he would probably lose his right leg, but he was alive. We had been dreaming a lot that when we would see each other it would be a lot of good memories. I had to be strong in front of him because I know that’s all he needed, I just hugged him and praised him and told him he looked good.”
Medically retired, Lyndon works for the government and at CrossFit (a competitive fitness regimen), with Cindy, and has become an accomplished adaptive athlete. He hopes to become a certified trainer and offer specialized workout assistance to others with similar injuries. A devoted father, he enjoys spending time with their two children, Aniyah and Gabriel, but their current home is very challenging with a second story and hilly backyard that makes it difficult to interact with his kids as he would like.
Lyndon and Cindy say they started a new life after his injury, and the new, specially adapted home in Gettysburg from HFOT will make it complete. The mortgage-free, one-level home with an open floor plan, wider doorways, accessible shower and more, will allow him to focus on staying physically fit and becoming an active member in their new community in Gettysburg, PA. Lyndon shares their gratitude: “HFOT and its supporters are a miracle of God. Your generosity and kindness are greatly appreciated. Getting this accessible house is overwhelming to us. Thank you is not enough.”
Happiness is a specially adapted tub, including remote-control motorized window blinds for added safety and convenience
Franchise owner, Randy Hock, of Budget Blinds serving Hanover is excited to participate in his first HFOT home. He attended the Key Ceremony when the home was awarded and shares, “It was truly an honor to be a part of Homes for Our Troops for SGT Sampang. It was awesome to see the impact and how life is changing for him due to HFOT. We, as a nation, are in debt to the great men and women like SGT Sampang. They cash a blank check to our nation and its citizens to defend our freedom. Congratulations to SGT Sampang and his family. Budget Blinds of Hanover is honored to stand with our military!”
Listen to Lyndon and Cindy share their story by clicking here.
Faux wood blinds come in colors and finishes to beautifully dress any windows, in any room
Budget Blinds offers a wide variety of high-quality window coverings with style and service for every budget. Options include window blinds of all kinds, shutters, eco-friendly natural woven shades, cellular shades, custom drapery and more, including smart home technology and Somfy® motorization. Call 866-879-9730 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.
Visit We Proudly Support Our Troops to learn more about the Budget Blinds / Homes for Our Troops partnership or to make a donation.