Fourth of July signifies freedom and independence. Every year, we celebrate as a country and as individuals with parades, parties and awe-inspiring fireworks displays. But for every freedom we enjoy, there was a price to pay, and many Veterans daily face the consequences of paying that price. They live with restricted personal freedom and independence due to catastrophic injuries received in the line of duty: multiple limb amputations, partial- or full-paralysis, severe traumatic brain injury, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and impaired vision and hearing.
Special adaptations like automatic doors, roll-under countertops, and pull-down shelves restore independence and freedom to severely injured Veterans
That’s why Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) began awarding mortgage-free, specially adapted homes to severely injured post-9/11 Veterans in 2004, to enable them to focus on recovery and rebuilding their lives. In 15 years, over 270 homes have been awarded nationwide, helping to restore a level of independence and freedom to severely injured Veterans. HFOT specially adapted homes have over 40 customizations to accommodate the Veterans’ needs, providing accessibility to every room in the house. Adaptations include:
- Wider hallways and doorways for wheelchairs
- One-level homes with hardwood floors and zero thresholds
- Hands-free automatic door openers
- Roll-in showers and roll-under sinks and countertops
- Front-loading washers and dryers
- Attached, wheelchair-accessible garages
Giving Veterans a beautiful view
In 2014, in partnership with our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, Budget Blinds® became a corporate sponsor for HFOT, committed to installing faux wood blinds into every home built. Springs Window Fashions manufactures and donates the blinds, and Budget Blinds local franchise owners measure and install the blinds to create a comfortable and safe home environment. From our exclusive Signature Series® collection, these custom faux wood blinds offer many benefits because of their versatility and high-quality:
- Provide energy efficiency by blocking sunlight to reduce solar heat
- Classic, white 2” slats are compatible with any home’s color scheme
- Moisture resistant, they are excellent for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms
- Made of durable polymer materials, they won’t crack, chip or peel
- Built-in UVA inhibitors mean the blinds will not turn yellow from sun exposure or time
- Motorized blinds in the master bath provide added security and safety
White faux wood blinds give classic beauty in every room, with complete light and privacy control throughout the house
Budget Blinds is privileged to participate with HFOT and its network of corporate sponsors and individual supporters to make these homes a reality for deserving Veterans. It’s a heart-set that aligns with Budget Blind’s longstanding commitment to support Veterans through discounts for franchise ownership, enabling them to take control of their lives.
Meet Marine Lance Corporal John Curtin
Lance Corporal John Curtin joined the Marines when he was 19, due to the obligation he felt to protect his family and his country. In 2011 on his first deployment in Afghanistan, he stepped on a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED) and lost both his legs and severely damaged his right forearm, changing his life forever. Several months of surgeries followed and he began outpatient physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where another life-changing event was awaiting him.
Brittany Albert was a summer Red Cross volunteer and their mutual attraction became friendship that grew into love. Brittany shares, “John was always quiet during physical therapy and you could tell he was ready to get back to his life and not be defined by his injury.” John was smitten: “My first impression of Brittany was that she was a beautiful girl that was very easy to talk to. I could see her kind soul whenever I would talk to her during therapy.” He invited her to the Marine Corps Ball in October and that sealed their fate! They married in 2015 and are proud parents of a new baby girl. John obtained a welding degree and has plans to open his own shop. He continues to be an athlete, playing sled hockey for Nashville’s Sled Predators and for the U.S. Developmental Sled Hockey Team.
The specially adapted HFOT home will give John freedom and independence and let him fulfill his role of taking care of his family. They have chosen Arrington, Tennessee, as home to be close to family and friends. John and Brittany are grateful to HFOT’s employees, donors and sponsors for helping them rebuild their lives. John shares, “That people donate is very powerful and moving for me, a blessing. We feel truly honored and blessed to be a part of this family and we are eager for our chance to give back and help others.”
John (yellow jersey) and sled hockey teammates for the Nashville Sled Predators during the 2019 Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival (image from nationals.usahockey.com)
Kathy and Jim Suttle, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of Franklin, measured and installed the blinds for LCPL Curtin and his family in their new home. It’s the first HFOT home they’ve been privileged to do and were excited at the prospect of supporting a local Veteran in this way. “Budget Blinds of Franklin will definitely be a part of this! Please let us know how we can help.” The blinds add beauty and functionality to the home, with years of worry-free operation.
Hear John and Brittany share their story by clicking here.
Meet Army Specialist Adam Putt
Army Specialist Adam Putt was on deployment in Iraq in 2007 when the vehicle he was riding in hit an IED. He says, “I don’t remember any of that day whatsoever, the IED detonated on the right side of the vehicle, where I was, launching me from the vehicle.” He lost both legs from the knee down and suffered Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of the blast. His wife, Tiffany, was flown out to be with him and she stayed with him through his therapy in a vey small hotel room that she says, “Either makes or breaks you. I think it brought us closer.” Obviously, that’s true. Adam shares, “She’s my best friend, my caregiver, and I wouldn’t be here without her.”
They have two sons now, and are looking forward to moving into the new, specially adapted home from HFOT tailored to his needs. He’s especially excited about wheelchair accessibility throughout the house, including roll-in shower and accessible kitchen and bathroom. Adam’s focus is providing for his family’s security and he believes this home will eliminate that worry and allow him to finish his degree in biology. He says, “All my kids know of me is who I am now, and you want to be a good example. Having a new home allows for that freedom to pursue things like education and doing activities with them. I need them to see me continue, I don’t want them to ever stop, to think that they’re done.” Their forever home will be in Blanchard, Oklahoma, for the excellent schools and slower pace of life.
Adam enjoys painting and reading as well as being active with his kids, like taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with his oldest son. He’s also involved with Honoring America’s Warriors, an organization that provides military honors at funerals and helps Veterans adjust to civilian life. He described the HFOT experience as amazing, unbelievable and surreal, and says, “Injured Veterans lose their mission and goals, not just limbs. In this home I will regain my freedom and independence, allowing me to carry on another mission.”
Mission NOT Impossible: a secure future for a growing, happy family in their new HFOT home
Installing faux wood blinds for SPC Putt’s family is the first HFOT home for Tim Baptiste, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Norman. Tim donated time and expertise to measure and install the blinds throughout the home, with remote-controlled blinds in the master bath to eliminate the danger of reaching over the tub to adjust the window covering.
Listen to more of Adam’s and Tiffany’s story by clicking here.
Update your windows with stylish window treatments
If Spring and Summer have you yearning for a new look in home décor, Budget Blinds offers a wide range of custom window treatments, including blinds, shutters, shades, drapes, and more, that can transform your home, effortlessly. Call 866-879-9730 todayto schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you who can show you the latest trends in window covering design as well as favorite classic looks. We can help you go green with eco-friendly products, enjoy the ultimate in convenience with motorization, and create a safer environment for children and pet with cordless operation for window treatments.
- Make a secure donation or learn more about Budget Blinds and Homes for Our Troops: Budget Blinds Proudly Supports Homes for Our Troops.
- Learn more about how these homes impact Veterans and their families: By The Numbers, HFOT Impact