On Veterans Day, as a nation, we celebrate and honor military heroes and Veterans, thanking them for their service and sacrifice, an unpayable debt we owe for the many freedoms we enjoy every day. This Veterans Day is made even more special than usual for two severely injured Veterans who received new, specially adapted homes from Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) at the end of October.
Every Homes for Our Troops donated home raises the American flag in the front yard during the Key Ceremony awarding the specially adapted home (Army Staff Sergeant Adam Emory’s story is below)
Since 2004, HFOT has been building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes for the most severely injured Post-9/11 Veterans to help them with recovery and rebuilding their lives. Since 2014, Budget Blinds®, along with our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions® who donates the product, has provided custom faux wood blinds for every home since becoming the official window coverings supplier to HFOT. It’s been an exciting partnership, with our Budget Blinds franchise owners across the country volunteering time and expertise to measure and install the window blinds for the home builds in their areas.
Our Springs’ sales representatives also take an active part as well. Chad Campa, Senior Field Sales Representative for Springs in Texas attends Volunteer Days and Key Ceremony Days whenever he can. “The Key Ceremony is always a very moving experience. To see the faces of these courageous soldiers as they are handed their keys always brings tears to my eyes. My attendance and volunteering are just a small token of gratitude to these brave soldiers, so I am always humbled to be able to participate in any HFOT event. I was so proud to be able to join Jeff Owens (franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Northeast San Antonio) and to represent Springs Window Fashions as we showed SSG Emory his new blinds.” (See full story below)
Making every house into a home
Home recipients have suffered such catastrophic injuries as multiple amputations, traumatic brain injury, full- and partial-paralysis, loss of hearing and sight, severe burns, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Lives have been turned upside down and plans and dreams have changed forever in a moment. Private individuals and Corporate Sponsors, like Budget Blinds, have joined HFOT’s mission by providing cash donations, volunteer services, and product so these homes can be built to the highest quality standards. Over 40 special adaptations make them ADA compliant and individually suited to each Veteran’s specific needs. Adaptations include:
- Lowered countertops and wheelchair-accessible appliances
- Hardwood floors
- Wider doorways and hallways
- Roll-in showers
- Automatic doors
- Powered lifts
- Voice-activated lights, temperature, and doors
Faux wood blinds provide privacy, safety, and convenience in every room and increase the home’s energy efficiency
Faux wood blinds were chosen for their universal appeal and versatility that make them ideal for every climate and area of the country:
- White faux wood blinds are classically stylish and can be personalized with colorful valances or drapery panels.
- Adjustable louvers allow complete control of light and privacy.
- Faux wood blinds give the beauty of real wood with moisture-resistant qualities that make them appropriate for every room, including kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms where moisture can be a problem
- One-touch-control motorized blinds in the master bath provide additional safety by eliminating the need to reach across the tub to adjust the blinds.
- Window blinds help keep out cold air in the winter and reduce heat gain in the summer, saving on energy bills all year long.
It’s an honor and a privilege for Budget Blinds to join with HFOT and its many donors and supporters to have a part in advancing recovery and rebuilding lives for severely injured Veterans and their families.
Meet Army Staff Sergeant Michael “Adam” Emory
SSG Adam Emory enlisted in the Army in 1998 at the age of 22, intending to make it his lifetime career. With a father and uncles who had served, he was ready to do his part and give back “to the greatest country in the world.” Unfortunately, on deployment in Iraq in 2007 on mission to clear an IED-making cell, he was shot in the head by a sniper. He remembers being on mission and then waking up from a coma in Bethesda, MD, but nothing in between. His injuries required a craniotomy and resulted in severe traumatic brain injury, causing paralysis on his left side.
Years of massage and therapy have restored some sensation on his left side to heat, cooling, and touch. With time he has been able to return to the activities he loves, including sky diving, working on cars, drag racing, traveling, jiu-jitsu and working out, and spending time with his family. He is attending San Antonio College, studying public administration with hopes to pursue a career supporting other Veterans.
The mortgage-free, specially adapted HFOT home will provide a safe environment for Adam’s continued healing. He’s excited about having accessibility through the whole house, including the roll-in shower, wider hallways and doorways for his wheelchair, roll-under countertops, and pulldown cabinets. He chose Schertz, TX, for his new forever home for the warm weather, nearby VA hospital, and to be close to his daughter. No mortgage enables him to help his daughter and two sons achieve their hopes and dreams. Adam is grateful to HFOT and its supporters, “I’m humbled and touched, and I feel like I’m in debt to them. I’m grateful for everybody that’s donated, it’s amazing. Nothing will ever take away my injuries or experiences, but knowing people want to make my life better, makes it all worth it.”
Key Ceremony when SSG Emory received his home: L to R, Chad Campa, Springs Window Fashions Senior Field Sales Representative, Adam Emory, and Jeff Owens, owner of Budget Blinds of Northeast San Antonio, and the beautiful faux wood blinds
This is the third HFOT home for Jeff and Kelli Owens, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of Northeast San Antonio, and they have a fourth home coming up in the near future. They have embraced the experience fully, participating in Volunteer Days and Key Ceremony Days when the homes are awarded as well as providing measuring and expert installation for all the window blinds. Their commitment and support are what make the HFOT partnership possible. Kelli shares their heart: “Jeff and I are happy to have just completed our third Homes for Our Troop (HFOT) home for Army SSG Adam Emory in Schertz, Texas. We are privileged to be a part of this program and give back just a little bit to the brave men and women who have fought for our country. We thank you for your service!”
Listen to SSG Emory share his story by clicking here.
Meet Marine Gunnery Sergeant Glen Silva
GYSGT Glen Silva joined the Marines in 1990 to be a part of something greater than himself. On a third deployment in 2010 to Afghanistan, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on a foot patrol. He lost his left leg above the knee, suffered severe damage to his abdomen and left arm with partial amputation of his fingers, traumatic brain injury, and other injuries requiring three years at Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During that time, he assisted Servicemembers from all branches through recovery, helping them understand their injuries and teaching them leadership skills. He also referred them to Homes for Our Troops for help where needed. He never applied to HFOT for himself until he met his new love, Heather, and desired a secure home for his family and future.
Medically retired since 2015, Glen continues to assist other Veterans through public speaking, giving them tools they need to continue to better their lives. He says, “The hurdles you have to overcome on a daily basis to continue to live and be productive are huge.” Living in a non-adapted home has kept Glen on his prosthetic more than is good for him and he’s looking forward to resting in his wheelchair in the specially adapted HFOT home, performing tasks around the house in complete safety. He chose Gettysburg, PA, for the new home to be close to family and for lower state taxes, and he looks forward to building a future focused on family, including traveling and camping with Heather and their four children.
Of HFOT, Glen has great praise: “Homes for Our Troops is the superhero when you don’t even know you need a superhero. Giving us … providing Veterans the opportunity to just breathe, which sometimes it’s just what you really need to do to be able to continue to fight and just keep moving forward with your life. I can never say thank you or put into words how much this incredible opportunity means to me and my family. It enables me to breathe a little easier and takes something else off my stressing list.”
GYSGT Glen Silva and family in the new kitchen that will become the heart of their new forever home
For franchise owner Randy Hock, Budget Blinds serving Hanover, PA, this is his second HFOT home and his team is totally onboard. They’ve honored Glen and his family with precise measuring and professional installation of faux wood blinds throughout the house, including special motorized blinds in the master bath for added safety and security. Randy shares, “We're glad to be a part of this project. It was awesome to see the impact and how life is changing for him due to HFOT. We, as a nation, are in debt to the great men and women who defend our freedom. Budget Blinds of Hanover is honored to stand with our military!”
Hear Glen and Heather share their story by clicking here.
Cozy up for winter with new window coverings
Layered window treatments beautify your home and create a cozy indoors when it’s cold outside
The holiday season has arrived, and Budget Blinds offers a wide variety of window coverings to update all your spaces with style and service for every budget. Options include window blinds of all kinds, shutters, eco-friendly natural woven shades, cellular shades, custom drapery, smart home technology, and Somfy® motorization for the ultimate inconvenience. Call 866-921-1880 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.
- Make a secure donation or learn more about Budget Blinds and Homes for Our Troops: Budget Blinds Proudly Supports Homes for Our Troops.
- To learn more about HFOT’s ministry and the Veterans they serve, read the latest HFOT Foundations newsletter by clicking here.