Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is an amazing organization dedicated to building specially adapted homes for severely wounded veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, post 9/11. Last year, Budget Blinds®became HFOT’s exclusive window coverings provider and joined a team of dedicated corporate sponsors who provide goods and services that help to make these mortgage-free, accessible homes for veterans and their families possible.
For over 10 years, HFOT has been caring for veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who have suffered catastrophic injuries such as loss of limbs, partial or full paralysis and/or severe traumatic brain injury. Their service and sacrifice changed their worlds forever. They come home to face monumental challenges such as living each day from a wheel chair, ongoing recovery, and rebuilding their lives. They both need and deserve help for the sacrifices they have made.
Budget Blinds, along with its manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions, has committed to providing faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® product line in all the homes that Homes for Our Troops builds over the next three years, welcoming these heroes home to where they can live with increased freedom and independence.
It’s About Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters
It’s not about numbers and statistics, it’s about people: fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who are all impacted by the devastating effects of war. Budget Blinds is honored to have a part in changing lives for our military veterans and their families. With Budget Blinds, it’s personal!
CEO and co-founder of Budget Blinds, Chad Hallock: “We share a strong commitment to supporting veterans who have served our country. Many of our founders have personal connections to the U.S. Armed Forces as do a number of our franchisees across the country.”
Todd Jackson, COO and co-founder of Budget Blinds, participated in a Volunteer Day (laying in the landscaping for the new home) last November along with 30 other Budget Blinds corporate employees. He shares, “I was excited…to have my son and five of his [friends] come out with me [to Volunteer Day]. Throughout the day I noticed a group of young men, some missing one leg, two legs, one arm and a leg etc., (and) they were there to work! At lunch we talked about the young men we met that were missing legs and how positive they were after going through what they [had]. They were amazing role models. We all left more humble for what we have and appreciative of everything we take for granted.”
The service and sacrifice of these HFOT veterans carries beyond the battlefield as they help and support other HFOT home recipients by participating in getting the homes completed for move in.
Meet Army SPC Jacob Lyerla
SPC Jacob Lyerla was only 19 in 2009, on his first deployment to Afghanistan, when he and his Engineers unit were hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) during an enemy attack. He was thrown from the vehicle and received multiple injuries rendering him a paraplegic. Transported out for treatment, he was joined by his parents a week later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and began long-term recovery and rehabilitation treatments.
Spc Lyerla has been living independently in an apartment on his parents’ property, and received his specially adapted home from HFOT on February 21st. With plenty of space for himself and his dogs, Mia and Kitty, Jacob declares, “It’s great to have a place of my own, the automatic door is awesome; I can carry in groceries. The roll-under kitchen cabinets are phenomenal–when doing dishes I won’t get water everywhere. This will make my life more independent than it already is. This will push me to the next level of independence.”
Jacob’s mother shares her heart: “He is phenomenally self-sufficient; now he’ll be more confident.” Jacob looks forward to a fulfilling future including college and career.
Franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Greenfield, IN, Sonny Marijono, installed the blinds in SPC Lyerla’s home. “I am extremely honored to be a part of this home building project with Homes for Our Troops. We hope SPC Lyerla will enjoy the beauty, convenience and energy efficiency of these new window coverings for many years to come.”
You can hear Jacob share his story by clicking here.
Meet Marine Cpl Joshua Hotaling
On his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, Cpl Joshua Hotaling was clearing a compound to secure a place for his Marine Battalion to sleep when he was injured by the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED). Joshua suffered amputation of both legs and severe hand injuries, losing his thumb and index finger on his right hand. His transport journey to recovery began: Bagram Air force Base to Landstuhl, Germany; Bethesda, Maryland, to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego where he received treatments for two years.
Cpl Hotaling has been living at home where his parents made some adjustments to accommodate his needs, but his mother shares her concerns for the future of her son, “Will he have a safe place to live? Will he have a place that allows him to regain the independence that he had up to two years ago to allow him to move on with his life?”
Thanks to HFOT and the many supporters and partners, the answer is yes! Cpl Hotaling’s Key Ceremony to receive his new home was on March 7th, and he says, “Since joining the Marines, I have been taught to be self-sufficient, adapt and modify, and to be faithful to my country, family and brotherhood. Support groups such as HFOT allow me to continue moving forward instead of looking back. Your help to provide housing that will let me be independent again means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you.”
Cpl Hotaling’s new home was outfitted throughout with new faux wood blinds by Gary and Mindy Decker, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Rocklin who did the measuring and installation. “My family and I felt privileged to be asked to help with providing window coverings for Cpl Hotaling’s new home. Growing up in a military family I have experienced the challenges that come with the military life, but nothing like what these warriors were challenged with. It was great to see a community come together and give back what we can to those who have helped and sacrificed to protect our freedom.”
Joshua tells his story in his own words. Click here to connect.
Ensuring a secure future
Having a safe, secure home is an important part of recovery, as shared by a five-year home recipient, Army SSG Michael Downing. “It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we’ve moved in. The family’s doing very well. It allows my family to concentrate on other things such as school and just being kids.”with HFOT as they help to provide secure futures for an anticipated 40 veterans in 2015 as homes are completed and awarded. For information on how you can get involved locally or contribute to Homes for Our Troops to assist wounded veterans, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/.
If you‘re looking ahead to an annual spring cleaning and renewal in your own home, refreshing the window treatments is an easy way to make a big transformation. Whether you’re considering blinds, shades, shutters or drapes, a Budget Blinds Style Consultant can help you select what is perfect for your family’s lifestyle. Call 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.