Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives

Military service is a time-honored way to serve others first.  However, when severe injury strikes, many Veterans are faced with challenges in rebuilding their lives. That’s where Homes For Our troops comes in. They are a non-profit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post – 9/11 Veterans. They also offer additional resources to help them rebuild their lives.

Progress Lighting, along with other top-quality manufacturers, donate products to help Homes For Our Troops to build safe and barrier-free homes that endure the test of time.

Above: Despite his injuries, Jake Pope coaches his daughter’s soccer team and thanks Homes For Our Troops donors for the opportunity to be a better father to Addison. “This house is a way for me to continue to be an independent father to my daughter, and there is nothing more important to me than that,” he says.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Progress Lighting. They are an exceptional company that has been providing high quality lighting for our homes since 2015. The cost savings they provide our organization and our Veterans help advance our mission of Building Homes and Rebuilding Lives,” said Bill Ivey, Homes For Our Troops Executive Director.

Most of these Veterans have sustained injuries, including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and severe traumatic brain injury.  These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives.

After their discharge from the hospital, many of these injured Veterans face daily challenges in their homes. “My previous place didn’t feel like a home to me, due to the fact there was always something in my house preventing me from doing my daily tasks,” said Army Corporal Aaron Jacinto, who served as a medic in the Army and Navy.

“I know I will have challenges for the rest of my days, but this home will make it easier to enjoy my daily life.” Ricardo says.

Halfway through Aaron’s second deployment in 2011, his barracks was hit by a mortar attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The attack resulted in the partial amputation of both feet, broken tibia, and internal injuries, which resulted in about 20 surgeries.  After being discharged, Aaron says he felt “lost and defeated” not being able to walk or run. However, he was determined to regain those abilities. Within three years, Aaron was able to not only walk and run but skydive, SCUBA dive and surf with prosthetics for his feet. He is a full-time college student and is hoping to use his medical background to go into the nursing field or become a physician’s assistant.

“The help you provided to me is most appreciated and won’t go to waste,” Aaron says.

Army Sergeant Ricardo PerezRamos went on his first deployment in 2011 to Afghanistan when in November, 2011, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar. He immediately lost his left leg in the blast, and also sustained a spinal cord injury, severe burns, and a broken pelvis. SGT PerezRamos spent four years in rehab and has undergone 100 surgeries, eventually also losing his right leg in 2014. Ricardo began walking on his prosthetics eight months after his injury and is now hoping to be a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

These are just two of the many stories of Veterans who are now empowered by the freedom a specially adapted custom home brings. Homes For Our Troops has built over 250 homes, and there are more than 90 Veteran home building projects currently underway nationwide.

Since its inception in 2004, nearly 90 cents of every $1 has gone directly toward the program. To learn how you can support the building of HFOT specially adapted custom homes, visit their website.

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