For almost a year, we’ve shared stories of severely wounded veterans around the country who have received specially adapted, mortgage-free homes from Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). It’s heartbreaking the number of service members who have suffered catastrophic injuries like multiple amputations, paralysis, and severe traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it’s also rewarding for Budget Blinds® to be part of this ministry, assisting veterans and their families by partnering with HFOT.
Timothy P. McHale, Major General USA, Ret. And President and CEO of HFOT, personally expresses gratitude to the HFOT supporters in the July 2015, HFOT Foundations newsletter: “Through your generosity, Homes for Our Troops has redefined freedom for these Veterans. It is only with your financial support that we have been able to restore security, safety and comfort back to their everyday lives, and we thank you on their behalf. In this way, you have served your country, and the liberties for which it stands, and we are proud to serve alongside you as we Build Homes and Rebuild Lives.”
For Budget Blinds and our participating manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, providing custom faux wood blinds in the homes is a way to say “thank you for your service and sacrifice,” and to make a meaningful contribution to the beauty and comfort of each home. Springs provides the blinds from our Signature Series® product line, and local Budget Blinds’ franchise owners donate their time and expertise to measure and install the blinds.
Army Staff Sergeant Jeremy Breece (read his story below) shares just how impactful these homes are. “Thanks to those who continue to help Homes for Our Troops assist injured veterans all over the country. I love this country and am so happy that people are here for us.”
Since 2004, HFOT has built over 190 homes for severely injured veterans, with 52 in progress right now. All the homes are:
- Mortgage-free to the veteran
- Highest quality construction
- Energy Star certified to ensure maximum efficiency
- Built where the veteran wants to live, usually close to family
- Specially adapted far beyond the demands of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to ensure maximum comfort and mobility for each veteran
- Built with over 90 cents of every donated dollar going to support the veterans
Meet Marine Sergeant Anthony McDaniel
In 2010, on his second deployment to Afghanistan, SGT Anthony McDaniel stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) during a route clearance patrol and lost both of his legs and his left hand at the wrist. His recovery journey began at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, and he continues to receive outpatient treatments at Balboa Naval Medical Center. SGT McDaniel enjoys spending time with his two children and he is active in his church. He plans on returning to college to complete his Accounting degree and has aspirations to the U.S. Paralympic Track Team. He enjoys wheelchair basketball and wheelchair racing.
His current home presents daily challenges: it’s too small to maneuver his wheelchair, the shower is not accessible and he cannot always get to his kids quickly when they need him. He shares excitement about the new HFOT specially adapted home, anticipating the freedom and independence it will give. “The new home will be amazing…space for me, my kids and my family; roll-in shower with no problems at all. In the kitchen I’ll be able to roll up under the sink and wash dishes or roll up under the stove and cook them breakfast or lunch. It will eliminate a lot of stress in my daily life, just by knowing that I do not need to worry about finding a home that will meet my needs and be a great place to raise my family. I’m thankful for everybody that’s a part of this program and I appreciate them and want to thank them.”
Angela Sansom, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Destin, FL, attended the Volunteer Day and Key Ceremony celebrations, as well as doing the expert measuring and installation of the faux wood blinds for SGT McDaniel’s new home. When presented with the opportunity to participate, she readily responded, “Thank you, we accept. We are honored to be a part of this project!”
You can hear Sergeant McDaniel share his experience by clicking here.
Meet Army Staff Sergeant Jeremy Breece
In April 2011, Sniper SSG Jeremy Breece was on his third deployment in Afghanistan when he stepped on a pressure-plate IED during a clearing operation. He suffered the loss of both his legs above the knee. After extended treatments in several military facilities, he spent five weeks of rehabilitative therapies at San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, before finally getting home.
Married with two sons, the family received their specially adapted home on August 1st, amidst great celebration at the Key Ceremony. SSG Breece says he’s “…excited about the whole house, the accessibility of everything; the wide hallways, full access to the stove and all the items up in the cupboards. I like the sidewalk going around the house [giving] me access to the whole yard, front to back. I love this new home!”
SSG Breece participates in competitive cycling, mono-skiing, surfing, and kayaking to stay fit.
Bart and Kelly Griffin, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Southeast Austin and Hays County were all in on this build. They attended the Groundbreaking, Volunteer Day and the Key Ceremony, in addition to providing expert measuring and installation of the faux wood blinds in the home.
Listen to SSG Breece and his wife, Roxann, share their story by clicking here.
Now is the perfect time to update your own home with easy-care faux wood blinds and other decorative window coverings from Budget Blinds, including shutters, shades, and drapes. Get a jump on the holiday rush 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. Ask about the many benefits and options that custom window coverings can provide, including energy efficiency, motorization, eco-friendly and child-safe features.
To read the HFOT July 2015 Foundations newsletter, click here.
To learn about the many ways to support Homes for Our Troops or to make a donation, go to www.hfotusa.org.