After a year of sharing about Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), it’s become obvious that, really, it’s a love story.
- Love of country
- Love of family
- Courage and commitment
- Supreme sacrifice
- Faithfulness and gratitude
Homes for Our Troops is a national, nonprofit organization that, since 2004, has been building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes across the country for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a privilege for Budget Blinds® to partner with HFOT in their mission to assist veterans and their families with rebuilding their lives.
Through this partnership, Budget Blinds has agreed to provide custom faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® collection in 120 specially adapted homes over a three-year period. Our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions® graciously donates all the faux wood blinds, and our independent franchise owners donate their time and expertise to measure and install all the blinds.
Todd Jackson, co-founder of Budget Blinds speaks to this partnership, “Homes for Our Troops perfectly aligns with Budget Blinds’ commitment to honor U.S. military Veterans, and we are very proud to make this contribution. Our partnership … has been incredibly humbling. We feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to these true American heroes.”
Love is action
Love is more than a warm, fuzzy feeling. Love leads to action—going to work each day to provide for your family, making a comfortable home, being sensitive to the needs of others, and stepping up to help when you can meet a need. “We at Homes for Our Troops do not believe in giving a home to severely injured veterans in charity. We believe it is a moral obligation of our society. There is no way we can repay you for your service to our country, but we hope this home can be a down payment.” —Major General (USA, retired) Timothy P. McHale, President/CEO of HFOT
- Each veteran loved his/our country enough to put his life on the line. They served with commitment and courage until an incident of war took them from the front lines and put them in a wheelchair. Now, that same courage sustains through the long, painful recovery process for injuries such as multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis and severe traumatic brain injury.
- The families of these veterans give loving support and help, encouraging them along each step of the recovery process. Together they face the challenges, heartaches and victories of rebuilding lives changed forever by one moment in time.
- The Homes for Our Troops mission is fueled by love and gratitude for the sacrifices made by those who protect our freedoms. The mortgage-free homes make it possible for these veterans to focus on their families, recovery, schooling and career pursuits instead of worrying about where they will live.
- Budget Blinds, along with the many supportive partners of HFOT, is love in action by donations, participating in Volunteer Days and Key Ceremony Days, and especially the Budget Blinds franchise owners who measure and install the blinds in the veterans’ homes in their territories.
Meet Marine Corporal Mark Haegele
In April 2011, two months into his first deployment in Afghanistan, Combat Engineer Cpl Mark Haegele preceded his unit into a compound and detected improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the area. Although he kept everyone else at a safe distance, he tripped an IED, resulting in the loss of both his legs and other severe injuries. He shares: “I knew I had stepped on an IED, I felt a lot of intense pain. In the [helicopter] I yelled out my full name twice and passed out until I woke up in Walter Reed [hospital].” His wife, Kari, was told of his accident by her mother-in-law, and she first thought the explosion meant he was dead. When Kari joined him at Walter Reed she said, “I didn’t realize there would be more and more surgeries when I first saw him at the hospital; I just was so happy to see him.” At Walter Reed, he was taught him how to walk and how to function in and out of his prosthetic legs.
The apartment they lived in before receiving the HFOT home, presented many challenges, including accessibility of the garage, which was of great importance to Cpl Haegele. He would have to use stairs, or go out one door and in another, exposing himself to the harsh North Dakota winters. Now, he’s especially thankful for the new garage, which gives him safe and easy access to his vehicle.
The HFOT home has custom pull-down cabinets, roll-under counter tops, specially adapted shower and over 40 other adaptations that make day-to-day living more enjoyable. He says, “Biggest thing I’m looking forward to is accessibility because accessibility means independence to me…and less worry for [Kari]. I want her to be able to leave the house and be okay with me being with our kids, knowing everything is accessible.” Daughter, Kinley, joined the family in March 2015, just months before they moved into their new home.
The specially adapted HFOT home allows Cpl Haegele to be a very hands-on dad, as well as a big help with cleaning and household chores. He and Kari view the new house as a blessing.
- Kari: “It means so much to me for him to have his independence because I know that makes him truly happy and it makes me happy in return. I’m just glad we have all the support that we do. Homes for Our Troops…what they do is amazing!”
- Cpl Haegele: “America these days is very patriotic, ready to help. It just says that America is full of good people. Everyone thanks wounded Veterans for our service, but I want to thank all of the supporters for making organizations like Homes for Our Troops what they are today. They give us hope for our future.”
You can hear Cpl Haegele and Kari share their story by clicking here.
Rob and Cathy Deics, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Bismarck, ND, generously measured and installed the blinds, insuring worry-free performance for years to come. Their participation underscores the corporate commitment to give back to those who have sacrificed to preserve the freedoms we enjoy every day.
If you need new window coverings in your home, Budget Blinds’ easy-care faux wood blinds and other decorative window coverings, including shutters, shades, drapes and more, offer endless design possibilities. To view samples and design guides in the comfort of your own home, 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. Ask about the many benefits and options that custom window coverings can provide, including energy efficiency, eco-friendly and child-safe features like cordless operation and motorization.
To make a donation to Homes for Our Troops, or to learn about the many ways to support the ministry, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/.