Placing Window Coverings in Forever Homes for Severely Injured Veterans

Since 2014, Budget Blinds® and our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, have been supplying and installing custom faux wood blinds into the specially adapted, mortgage-free homes that Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) builds for severely injured Veterans. It’s been an honor and a privilege to have outfitted 104 homes across the country, helping to bring comfort and security to Veterans and their families, contributing to their ongoing recovery and rebuilding their lives.

 Every HFOT home helps a Veteran and their family to move forward into a better future in stability and safety

HFOT has built and awarded 270 specially adapted homes, ensuring a brighter future for post-9/11 Veterans suffering from multiple amputations, full or partial paralysis, traumatic brain injury, loss of vision and hearing, and severe PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). A top-rated Veterans charity, nearly 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to their programs supporting Veterans who sacrificed so much. Currently, 83 new builds are underway as new, qualified Veterans enter the program.

Corporate sponsors, like Budget Blinds, along with individual donors are the life-blood of HFOT’s mission, and the growing donor base each year means more homes can be built. As the only window coverings supplier for HFOT, each home receives custom blinds from our private label Signature Series® collection, for beauty and functionality throughout the home, including windows, doors and special remote-control automated blinds in the master bath. 

Automated blinds provide complete control while eliminating the fall risk of reaching across the bathtub to adjust the window coverings

Faux wood blinds offer many benefits, including:

  • Increased energy efficiency, saving on utility costs
  • Light and privacy control in every room
  • Resistance to moisture, chipping and peeling
  • Versatility in décor, blinds can be enhanced with valances or drapery panels
  • One-touch motorization from Somfy®

Keys to success are local Budget Blinds’ franchise owners who support the partnership by lending their expertise to measuring for and installing these blinds in the HFOT homes in their territories.

Meet Army Specialist Ryan Wilcox

SPC Ryan Wilcox grew up hearing his grandfather’s military stories and always wanted to be soldier. On his first deployment to Iraq in 2007 as a combat engineer, he was shot in the right leg while on a route clearance mission. He returned to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 when the chronic pain, nerve damage and scar tissue from that initial injury caused him to be medically evacuated. 18 months of surgeries and treatments finally resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

In his current home with fiancée, Sara, and their children, Nicholas and Juliana, his interaction with the kids is limited as he can’t manage the stairs up to their bedrooms for tucking in, and an inaccessible backyard limits play time together. They look forward to the new, specially adapted HFOT home that will enable the family to all be in the same room, without barriers, playing and having dinner. Sara shares, “It provides a better quality of life, helping with the healing process and the entire family to heal as a whole, and to move on.”

SPC Wilcox first learned of HFOT from a billboard announcing the local home building for SFC Jeffrey Hackett, and they observed the progress of the home being built. He contacted HFOT and was accepted into the program, building his home in Mexico, NY, to be near family. Of the specially adapted, mortgage-free home he says, “I really didn’t think it would happen. You can go outside, completely around the house, my kids will be downstairs, I’ll be able to have a comfortable shower. Being provided a home from HFOT will allow us to save money and take a first-ever family vacation. HFOT allows me to give my family a home that they deserve. I can finish my degree and spread the HFOT message to help other Veterans.”

For Tania Wodzenski, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Liverpool, NY, this is her second HFOT home, having done SPC Hackett’s home in 2015. She again donated time and expertise to measure for and install custom faux wood blinds throughout the new home for SPC Wilcox and his family, helping to provide a safe and comfortable environment for rebuilding their lives. When notified of the new HFOT home in her area, she replied, “Yes, I will definitely participate in the home for Army Specialist Ryan Wilcox. Thank you for the opportunity.”

See Ryan and Sara share their story by clicking here.

Meet Army Sergeant Ricardo PerezRamos

 SGT Ricardo PerezRamos worked in a hospital and was deeply impressed by the Military people he met and helped there. It inspired him to join the Army in 2009. On his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, returning from his last mission, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He was thrown 50 yards and sustained injuries including a broken pelvis, severe burns, spinal cord injury and immediate loss of his left leg. He was in a medically-induced coma from November 20 until December 23, and spent four years in rehab and underwent 100 surgeries, including amputation of his right leg in 2014. Told he would never walk again, he persevered and was walking after eight months. He shares, “It was a terrible challenge and hard work,” and credits his wife, Darilyn, as a source of strength throughout his recovery.

Ricardo and Darilyn have three children, Brian, Arianna, and Sophia, and he says the specially adapted HFOT home in New Braunfels, TX, will give him his life back. “I know I will have challenges for the rest of my days, but this home will make it easier to enjoy my daily life.” He can access every area of the home and outdoors, safely from his wheelchair. Ricardo enjoys hunting, fishing, clay shooting and sled hockey, hoping to join the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He plans to go college for a degree is histology.

Of HFOT he shares, “Everyone has the dream to have your own home, you want to have your kids in a nice place, so they can become somebody.” With the mortgage-free home, he’ll be able to save for his kids’ college, an important issue for him. He praises the mission of HFOT, “Homes for Our Troops does something for those who raise their hands and protect this country. It’s amazing!

A better life for their children is one of the major benefits of the homes the HFOT builds for severely injured Veterans

Linda and Jeffrey Schields, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of North San Antonio, celebrate their 12th HFOT home with SGT PerezRamos and his family. San Antonio is a strong military community and very welcoming to Veterans, and Linda and Jeffrey are always ready to step up and install custom blinds in each HFOT home built in their territory. “We are very proud to be partners with Homes for Our Troops, doing our part to make each Veteran’s life better.”

Listen to Ricardo and Darilyn tell their experiences in video, here.

Enhance your home for the holidays

Now is the perfect time to update your windows before the holidays, making your home more comfortable, stylish and energy-efficient with one-touch motorization, eco-friendly products and child-safe cordless options. Budget Blinds offers a wide range of on-trend, custom window treatments, including blinds, shutters, shades, drapes and more. Call 866-879-9730 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to to find a Style Consultant near you.

To make a donation to help provide homes for severely injured Veterans and their families, check out We Proudly Support Our Troops.