Energy-Efficient Custom Blinds Enhance Specially Adapted Homes for Veterans

Since 2004, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) has been building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for Post-9/11 severely injured military veterans and their families, giving back a measure of independence and security, enabling them to rebuild their lives.

As a nonprofit organization and top-rated charity, the amazing work they do is supported by hundreds of individuals, big corporations and small businesses that volunteer time as well as donate cash, building materials and expertise. Such support allows HFOT to build homes that are tailored to the specific needs of veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries like multiple amputations, full and partial paralysis and traumatic brain injury.

Budget Blinds® is proud to have been a partner with HFOT over the past two years, installing faux wood blinds from our exclusive Signature Series® product line in dozens of homes, providing beauty and energy efficiency. Springs Window Fashions®, our long-time manufacturing partner, donates the blinds and, new for 2016, we’ve added Somfy® motorization for the master bath window blinds for additional convenience and safety.

All total, Budget Blinds has committed to a $1 million donation to HFOT over a three-year period, including cash, products and services.

Our Budget Blinds independent franchise business owners, some are veterans themselves, are integral to the success of this partnership. All across the country, wherever the HFOT homes are built, they have willingly given their time for measuring and installing the blinds, ensuring that each home has high-quality window coverings that provide comfort and convenience for veterans and their families.

Meet Army SSG Woodrow (Woody) Slate

An Army Diver, SSG Slate deployed to Iraq in February 2004 and immediately began treacherous and arduous dives in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Over time, the demands of the job and multiple injuries, including electrocution, getting stung by poisonous fish and having his legs crushed resulted in a severe case of compartment syndrome in both his legs. (The pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels, decreasing blood flow and preventing nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells. – Sent stateside to recover, he spent eight years and endured over 30 surgeries attempting to save his legs but, in 2012, amputation became necessary.

It was a long and hard journey, and SSG Slate shares, “I wouldn’t take one day of it back. I am proud to be an Army diver and Soldier. [But] for the past 10 years because of being ill and my injuries, I have missed out on so much with my family and so have they. This home from HFOT would mean that I could be more independent and participate more in everyday living with my wife and [three] kids.”

SSG Slate is looking forward to a wheelchair-friendly, barrier-free home; including a kitchen where he’ll be able pursue his love of cooking for his family and friends. He’s involved with a nonprofit that teaches fellow wounded veterans to dive and would like to return to a career as a diver in some capacity. Future plans include a degree in Marine Science or Contract Law. His wife, Sandy, shares:  “This organization is amazing. It’s extraordinary that there are people out there that are willing to give someone a home and a new life.”

Franchise owner James Brunson and Rachelle Stannard of Budget Blinds serving Williamsburg generously gave their time and expertise to measure and professionally install all the blinds in the home for SSG Slate. “It was awesome and we were blessed to be able to help!”

To hear the full story by SSG Slate and Sandra, click here.

Meet Army SPC Roberto (Robert) Reyes, Jr.

In 2005, Army SPC Robert Reyes was on his second deployment in Iraq when the vehicle he was in got hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) and hurled him 20 feet. The resulting injuries and shrapnel in his head caused severe traumatic brain injury and partial paralysis and he was not expected to live past the next 24 hours. He miraculously survived, but his injuries require him to have fulltime assisted care. SPC Reyes’ aunt and uncle, Carlos Valentin and Maria Mendez-Valentin, consider him a son and tried to care for him at home, but medical equipment and space requirements made it impossible, so he lives at a VA facility in New York. They see him regularly, but Maria’s heart aches every time he pleads, “I want to go home,” and they cannot honor his request.

The specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops will enable Robert to finally go home. Maria explains the depth of that need, “Robert hasn’t really come home from war yet…home is where he needs to be. Living in his own home will improve his outlook on life, as he prays every day to be home. I thank Homes for Our Troops for giving him this opportunity.”  SPC Reyes will have full access to every room, with privacy for showering and personal care, and be able to cook in the kitchen with roll-under counters and pull-down cabinets. Spending holidays with family in his own home and getting outside to feel the sun are things he is looking forward to.

Maria and Carlos share SPC Reyes’ story; click here to listen in.

Custom blinds for beauty and excellence

Although blinds are available in a wide range of colors and finishes, 2” white faux wood and composite blinds were chosen for the HFOT homes.

  • Their versatility and resistance to moisture and other environmental factors like extreme heat or cold make them appropriate for any part of the country.
  • These blinds will never fade, chip or peel and they remain beautiful and worry-free for years, providing complete light and privacy control.
  • As a stand-alone window treatment, the classic lines of custom blinds are compatible with any décor, and make a unique fashion statement paired with valances, curtains or drapes.

If your windows to the world are bare or need a style update, Budget Blinds can help with designing the perfect custom window treatments for your home, including blinds, shutters, shades, drapes and more. Call 866-879-9730 to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at to find a Style Consultant near you. Ask about the convenience of motorization, eco-friendly products and child-safe cordless options for all your window covering needs.

Go to to find out how you can support Homes for Our Troops or make a donation online.