Building Brighter Futures for Veterans and Their Families with Homes for Our Troops
All year long across the country, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is building specially adapted homes for severely injured Veterans and their families. Presently, 89 homes are in some stage of completion, with 266 homes awarded. Since 2014, Budget Blinds® and our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, have donated and installed faux wood blinds in each completed home. It’s been an exciting partnership to participate with HFOT in helping to change lives and create brighter futures for so many.
SSGT Omar Milan and SSG Carl Moore with their families on Key Ceremony day, September 29, when they both received their new homes (read their stories below)
Home is where healing happens
HFOT homes serve to restore some of the freedom and independence Veterans sacrificed defending our country. Chairman of the Board, Richard A. Cody, General USA, Ret., shares: “Homecomings aren’t as joyous and smooth as we see in the movies or on TV. Readjusting to family life or transitioning to civilian life brings new challenges to the military family. I believe HFOT is most worthy of support not only because of the freedom our homes provide to our most severely injured Veterans, but because of the tangible impact these homes have on their families too.”
Faux wood blinds add beauty and energy efficiency to the homes along with the over 40 special adaptations that are built in to provide accessibility and comfort from a wheelchair. Adaptations include wider doorways and halls, automatic door openers, roll-under countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, pull-down shelves, roll-in showers, and motorized blinds in the master bath.
Our exclusive Signature Series® white faux wood blinds were chosen for the HFOT homes for many reasons:
- Their versatility and resistance to moisture, heat and cold suit them for any part of the country.
- Faux wood blinds will never fade, chip or peel; they remain beautiful and worry-free for years.
- Blinds provide complete light and privacy control and improve overall energy efficiency.
- The classic lines enhance any décor and can pair with valances, curtains or drapes.
Faux wood blinds bring beautiful functionality to every room with light and privacy control
These homes are a tangible “thank you for your service,” and Budget Blinds is honored to have a part in welcoming Veterans home to new beginnings and brighter futures as they continue recovery and rebuilding their lives.
Meet Marine Staff Sergeant Omar Milan
SSGT Omar Milan had wanted to serve in the military since he was a little kid, intrigued by the dress blues, action, and “cool guy gear” he saw on commercials. On his third tour of duty to Afghanistan in 2012 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, he was conducting a post-blast analysis when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) that resulted in the loss of his right leg, significant injuries to his left leg, loss of fingers on his left hand, severe damage to his right arm and other injuries. At one point, his family was flown to Germany where he was in hospital, having taken a turn for the worse with lungs filled with fluid, kidneys shutting down, and brain swelling. He says that after two days of them being there, his condition miraculously improved. He says, “I don’t know if it was them talking to me or what, I was out of it.”
40 surgeries and two years of physical therapy brought him to medical retirement and home with his wife, Michelle, and two daughters in Texas. He is excited about the specially adapted home from HFOT and is looking forward to the independence to be able to do everything a normal person can do, but in his wheelchair. They chose his hometown of Mansfield, TX, for their forever home. He plans to pursue a mechanical engineering degree while Michelle goes to school for nursing. Omar enjoys his hobby of woodworking and involvement with nonprofits Spirit of a Hero, Cowtown Warriors and Boot Campaign.
Of the new home he says, “I’m thankful for Homes for Our Troops for creating a better life for me and my family. We are forever grateful for everything and every single person who makes this possible.”
Never underestimate the healing power of love
Joseph and Raquel Elder, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of Mansfield, had the privilege of their first HFOT home, measuring for and installing faux wood blinds for SSGT Milan and his family. Along with classic elegance, the blinds bring functionality and energy-saving properties to the home, providing year-round comfort and lower utility bills.
Listen to Omar share his story by clicking here.
Meet Army Staff Sergeant Carl Moore III
After high school, SSG Carl Moore found himself working unfulfilling jobs and decided he wanted a career, and serving his country was the ideal place to be. After five years in the Army, in 2013 he was on tour in Afghanistan as a fire support specialist when his patrol came under heavy machine gun fire and he was struck by multiple rounds. He suffered a spinal cord injury and partial paralysis from the waist down. Thinking he was paralyzed forever, he was excited to one day feel his wife’s cold hands as she massaged his feet. He moved his big toe and knew that was just the beginning back! He can now walk short distances with a walker and uses a wheelchair for mobility.
The new mortgage-free home from HFOT with special adaptations will enable him to provide security for his wife, Heather, and daughter, Addison, saying it’s like a weight lifted off his shoulders. They chose Land O’ Lakes, FL, as home to be near the VA and for the year-round active lifestyle and sports that they all love. Carl enjoys hunting, kayaking and fishing and is a member of several local shooting leagues. He works as a firearms instructor and range officer, and gives time to the nonprofit, Learn to Shoot Again, teaching adaptive shooting. He plans to attend gunsmith school and possibly start his own business out of his new home.
Carl shares, “I really appreciate Homes for Our Troops; their mission. It’s almost like a family in the sense of support. I wish the donors could see first-hand the difference they are making in Veterans’ lives. It’s such a gamechanger to have that security in your life. Thank you!”
Just in time to spend their first “no-restrictions-for Dad” holidays in the new home
Mike and Adriane Wonderlin, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of North Tampa & Land O’ Lakes, graciously provided professional measuring and installation services for Moore’s new home. Faux wood blinds throughout the home, with special motorized blinds by Somfy® in the master bath for added safety, will provide the family with years of worry-free functionality and stylish living. They attended the Key Ceremony when the home was awarded and shared, “We were so proud to take part in this event. Grateful to have the opportunity to give back to SSG Moore and his family. We hope they love their new forever home! And Budget Blinds of North Tampa cannot wait to participate in the next Homes for Our Troops project. “
Hear Carl and Heather share their journey by clicking here.
If you’d like to update your home with new window treatments before the holidays, Budget Blinds offers a wide variety of high-quality window covering options: blinds of all kinds, wood shutters, natural woven shades, cellular shades, drapery and more, including smart home technology. Choose from colors, styles and finishes to accommodate every taste and every budget. Call 866-879-9730 to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.
- To make a donation to HFOT, visit We Proudly Support Our Troops.
- Read the September 2018 HFOT Foundations newsletter for more information and follow-up stories on past home recipients.