Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes for the most severely injured veterans of post 9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. This extraordinary mission is one that Budget Blinds® has been proud to support, by donating and installing faux wood blinds in the homes that HFOT builds. Budget Blinds, along with our long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, has committed to a donation of one million dollars in cash, products and services over a three-year period.
Since HFOT builds homes across the country, Budget Blinds franchise owners are able to participate with the veteran homes in their territories, measuring and installing the faux wood blinds. They often take part in the Groundbreaking Ceremony, Volunteer Day, and the final Key Ceremony when the home is awarded to a veteran. It’s a labor of love, as these comments by franchisees demonstrate:
- “Any opportunity to show support and gratitude to [veterans] is an honor.”
- “I am proud to be part of Budget Blinds commitment to U.S. military veterans and the Homes for Our Troops program which helps restore the freedom and independence of veterans.”
- “When I was requested to be involved in this project, I was extremely happy and 100% willing.”
- “We’re so grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military men and women and are honored to give a small portion of our time to make their lives easier.”
Each veteran has a remarkable story of courage, perseverance and victory as they continue their recovery, go to college, support their families, take jobs or start businesses. Many become advocates for Homes for Our Troops and other veteran-assist organizations, making speeches and personal appearances, like SGT Noah Galloway.
Meet Army Sergeant Noah Galloway
In December 2005, SGT Galloway was on a routine mission south of Baghdad, when the tires of his 9,000-pound armored Humvee hit the trip wire of an improvised explosive device (IED) that sent it flying through the air, ending up in a canal with SGT Galloway still inside. He was pulled from the wreckage and evacuated, finally waking up six days later, on Christmas Day, in Walter Reed Medical Center. His mother had been flown in to be with him and, as yet unaware of his injuries, she was the one who told him he had lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. Labeling himself as stubborn, he pushed to get out of the hospital as quickly as he could, to get back home to his children.
In 2010, SGT Galloway first witnessed the impact of a specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops when he volunteered to help construct the home of a fellow injured veteran. Now a home recipient himself, he is committed to “Paying it Forward” by advancing the mission of Homes for Our Troops throughout the country, and by being a positive role model and inspiration to others, especially our nation’s severely injured veterans. He shares: “I think it’s incredible what HFOT is doing. There are a lot of injured veterans out there who can benefit from this. It says a lot for us, as a nation, that we will continue to take care of those that have fought and sacrificed, not just life, but limb, and came back with injuries and that the country will step up and take care of them.”
A fitness fanatic, SGT Galloway regularly competes in endurance races and travels around the country as a motivational speaker. In April, he became a motivational dancer, competing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) and getting to the finals with partner, Sharna Burgess. To see the “most inspiring competitor on DWTS” in action, click here. (their jazz number is 2:28 minutes in)
Due to his DWTS stardom, in lieu of the traditional Key Ceremony, HFOT hosted a “Hometown Hero Celebration” in September at the Hoover Met for SGT Galloway and several other veterans and their families who were also home recipients. A crowd of 100 celebrated with music, food and a meet-and-greet with the man of the hour. He and his family are in their new home now, and he shares gratefulness for this specially adapted HFOT house: “As a father, to have a house like [this is] incredible, because I have three small children that like to be held and carried. Having a house that’s more accessible is a lot better. And knowing I won’t injure myself in the home is good for the kids because I do a lot with them.”
Steve Thackerson, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Birmingham, measured and installed the blinds for SGT Galloway’s home and attended the private Key Ceremony. Thackerson says that SGT Galloway is a big hero in his hometown. Inspiring “future veterans,” he visited a local school and regaled the kids with his experiences and infectious energy.
You can hear SGT Galloway share his story by clicking here.
With the holidays approaching, now is the perfect time to update your window coverings and get your home ready for entertaining family and friends. Our Biggest Sale of the Year starts November 2 through January 3, with great savings on our wide range of styles and colors for custom blinds, shutters, shades, drapery and more. Improve the energy efficiency of your home as cooler weather approaches by calling 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.
For information on how you can get involved with a local HFOT home build or ways to donate to Homes for Our Troops, go to www.hfotusa.org.