We can share with you the statistics about the Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors, Coasties and families we’ve helped, but reading their stories brings home the difference that we can make in their lives.
Buying a Home When You’re Overseas.
Sgt R was deployed to Kosovo when he submitted his Dream Makers’ application online…
A Chance Encounter at Walter Reed Makes a Difference for a Marine in California.
Sgt L was concerned about the head wounds his cousin suffered in Iraq… More
When the Rent Disappeared in the FY 2008 Budget.
SGT B lost his leg to an IED in Iraq in 2006. When he was upgraded to outpatient status at Walter Reed, SGT B, his wife and two children were moved to a handicapped accessible apartment near the hospital. Then came the phone call… More
Rules are Rules.
SFC M was severely injured in Iraq in 2006.As a result of his wounds, which include a traumatic brain injury, he is confined to a wheelchair and cannot care for himself. His parents want to take him home… More
Sgt R was paging through Stars & Stripes when he found the Foundation’s advertisement for the Dream Maker’s first-time home buyers’ program. He submitted his Dream Makers’ grant application online that evening. He didn’t leave an email address on the application, only his cell phone number. When the Foundation representative called the following morning, she was surprised to discover that he was in Kosovo -- and even more surprised to find he was buying a home while he was still deployed.
Sgt R, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, was buying his parents’ home in Boston. He’d applied online for a mortgage, given his father power of attorney to complete the deal in his absence, and arranged for his $5,000 down payment grant from the Foundation all while serving over 5,000 miles away.
“I can’t believe how easy this all was,” he said. “And now I’ll have my own home waiting for me when I return.”
Sgt L was concerned about his cousin who suffered a severe head wound in Iraq. His uncle had flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC to be with his son while he recovered in the hospital.
Sgt L was busy with his separation from the Marine Corps and his search for his family’s first home in the Camp Pendleton area, so he could only send his good wishes for recovery to his cousin on the other side of the country.
The wounded being treated at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospitals, and their families, are invited to a steak dinner in downtown Washington every Friday evening to buoy their spirits. It was at one of these dinners that a representative of the Foundation chanced to talk with Sgt L’s uncle about the Dream Maker grant program. Two hours later she received a call on her cell phone from an excited Sgt L. His uncle had phoned him to tell him about the program just as he was signing a contract on a home in Oceanside, California.
The mortgage loan was scheduled to close in one week. Sgt L and the Foundation worked quickly to coordinate the paperwork with the mortgage company, even to negotiating a roadblock created by the builder who wanted to move up the closing date to meet month-end sales goals. The deadlines were met and Sgt L, his wife and their two toddlers moved into their home in September.
“I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for us,” said Sgt L “We are loving our new home. And thanks to the Foundation, we own it. I am still amazed at how our roads have crossed.”
SGT B lost his leg to an IED (improvised explosive device) in Iraq in 2006. When he was upgraded to outpatient status at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), SGT B, his wife and two children were moved to a handicapped accessible apartment near the hospital. Close proximity to WRAMC was important as he had to show up daily for drill and physical therapy.
The rent for the apartment was more than $800 over SGT B’s housing allowance Washington, DC is an expensive place to live and the special accessibility made it even more costly. However, SGT B’s commanding officer, where his unit is stationed, had promised to pay for the extra rent as long as he was recovering from the amputation.
Then came the phone call in September 2007. The budget for the coming year couldn’t cover the expense any longer. Starting in October, no more money would be coming to the family. Just as they were recovering from this news, SGT B learned he would be undergoing further surgery on his remaining leg to try to save it from also being amputated.
That’s when the Foundation stepped in. The Military HeroesŪ program pays the monthly $841 difference between SGT B’s base housing allowance and the rental cost of the family’s apartment.
“I really don’t know what we’d do without the Foundation’s help,” said Mrs. B. “Thank you so much.”
SFC M was severely injured in Iraq in 2006. He sustained massive injuries to one side of his body. Surgeons permanently removed the left side of his skull, replacing it with an acrylic plate. He became one of thousands of troops diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, which has come to be called the "signature" wound of the Iraq war, according to the Army Times.
As a result of his wounds, he is confined to a wheelchair and cannot care for himself. His parents yearned to bring him home from the Veterans Administration hospital and take care of him. “We've been gone for 22 months and it is time to come home,” said his father.
Mr & Mrs. M have two school-age children, so they need a van that will allow both for entry via side doors for their younger children and also for a wheelchair lift in the back for SFC M. The Veteran’s Administration’s rules only allow for retrofitting a van for a side wheelchair lift. Even the VA’s Ombudsmen for the region got involved, but to no avail.
In addition, Mr. & Mrs. M need to redesign their house at a cost of $90,000 to accommodate their injured son. The VA can only cover $50,000 of this cost.
The Foundation is paying the $62,000 cost of a minivan with a rear wheelchair lift and, in conjunction with the George Washington Chapter of the Association of the US Army, will help pay for the renovation of the home.