CertaPro Painters of Jackson Teams Up With Homes For Our Troops
CertaPro Painters® of Jackson, MS, is proud and honored to be participating in the building of two homes for two of our local heroes, SGT John Vail, and SGT Michael Burns.
Meet the HFOT Veterans in Mississippi!
Army Sergeant John Vail, a military police office, deployed with the 113th Military Police Company of the Mississippi Army National Guard in October 2011. On March 7, 2012, while on a routine patrol in Kuwait, the vehicle he was riding in rolled over, ejecting him and then landing on top of him. The incident resulted in a spinal cord injury and paralysis from the waist down.
Following the accident, SGT Vail was flown to Landstuhl, Germany and then transported back to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he spent almost two months. Eventually he was transferred to the James Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa for treatment of his spinal cord injuries and rehabilitative therapies for seven months.
John’s mother and father have been by his side throughout his recovery, encouraging him during every phase of progress. Another motivating factor contributing to John’s success is his son Brendon Michael; John dreams of running and playing football with him in the future.
After John was discharged from the hospital, the challenges of his injuries became more prominent since he was no longer in a facility that accommodated his wheelchair. John’s current living spaces also have carpet, which make wheeling a chair difficult. “I can only dream of being in a home where I’m self-sufficient and able to do my day to day chores like a normal person again,” says John. “Washing clothes, cooking, taking a shower, and having room to get in and out of my garage will leave me happier every day and I think that’s the main goal of my recovery.”
John knows several HFOT home recipients, so he has seen firsthand the difference the homes have made in their lives. He looks forward to being able to invite these friends and hang out with other fellow injured Veterans in the comfort of his accessible home, too.
Receiving a mortgage-free home from Homes for Our Troops will enable John to start rebuilding his life and allow him to continue his work of serving others. John has become a motivational speaker and started a buisness venture called Endless Ability Jeans, a brand of jeans adapted to those who use wheelchairs. He looks forward to spending more time with his son in his new home and getting back to his hobbies, which include attending car and truck events with his show truck, and learning all he can about motorcycles. He is grateful for the life-changing gift he will receive from those who support his Homes for Our Troops build project.
On Dec. 19, 2004, Army Sergeant Michael Burns, a truck driver with the 96th Transportation Company, pulled the convoy he was riding in to the side of the road to fix a flat tire, when a truck carrying a bomb hit the vehicle. SGT Burns was dragged under the vehicle for a quarter of a mile. As a result, SGT Burns lost his left leg, sustained burns on 30 percent of his body, his bladder ripped open and severe internal injuries to his bladder and pelvis.
SGT Burns awoke from a coma a month later at Brooke Army Medical Center, where he remained for four months and endured almost 50 surgeries. He now has rods from his hip to his knees in both legs and a plate in his lower left leg.
Although it has been a decade since his injuries, Michael still faces challenges while at home. A specially adapted home with widened doorways and hallways will allow him to use his wheelchair at home with ease. With the lower countertops and roll under sinks, he will be able to help his wife Sonia more in the kitchen.
Having a comfortable life at home will enable Michael to focus on other activities. He currently enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, fishing and watching sports. He would like to start mentoring young children and coach a sports team.
Michael and Sonia are choosing to build their home in Madison, Mississippi, to be close to family.
Michael says having a specially adapted home will bring him peace of mind, knowing that it belongs to him and his family. “It warms my heart to know that there are people who care and appreciate that we risked our lives and who value our service to our country. I would like to say ‘Thank you for all you do.’”
ABOUT HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS
Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans have sustained life-altering injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The homes provided restore some of the freedom and independence these Service Members sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family, return to work, and continue their recovery. HFOT builds these homes where the Veteran chooses to live, and continues its relationship with the Veterans after home delivery to assist them with rebuilding their lives. To learn more about HFOT, visit hfotusa.org.
HFOT CHARITY RATINGS
Since its founding in 2004, nearly 90 cents of every dollar has gone directly to program services for Veterans. HFOT has received a 4-star charity rating from Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) for five consecutive years.
The average cost to construct each specially adapted home nationwide runs $430,000. As a top-rated military and Veterans’ nonprofit organization, Homes for Our Troops is privately funded, and therefore relies on the generosity of donors. Nearly 70 percent of our operational budget is generated by individual donors and community fundraisers nationwide who step up to help our American heroes by coordinating everything from lemonade stands to golf tournaments. The remaining financial support we receive is from corporations, foundations and our corporate sponsors.
HELP US SUPPORT HFOT
CertaPro Painters® is working with general contractors to paint the interiors of the new homes built through the Homes for Our Troops program. CertaPro Painters® has donated over $400,000 in painting services and donations and continues to give back to disabled war veterans. Join the CertaPro mission by making a donation today directly to Homes for Our Troops by clicking here.