Throughout the world there are exclusive clubs that like to flaunt their membership requirements. Generally tied to lineage, wealth and notoriety, you have to BE SOMEONE to join Annabel’s in London, the Key Club in Hong Kong or the Yellowstone Club in Montana which has an initial membership fee of $300,000. (businessinsider.com)
As costly as this may seem, there is another club with cost beyond measure that no one wants to join, but thousands do. That’s the exclusive club of our military Veterans who have given life and limb to protect our freedoms. A club without lavish trappings or an exotic location, it includes Veterans across the country of all ages, ethnicities and financial standings.
- Members of exclusive, luxury clubs join in order to get something for themselves.
- Members of injured Veterans’ clubs join by giving their all for others.
Helping Veterans rebuild their lives
Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) was established in 2004 to help severely injured Veterans, post 9/11, who gave their all and suffered loss of limbs, full or partial paralysis and traumatic brain injury in service to our country. The HFOT mission is to build new, single-family, mortgage-free, specially adapted homes that provide barrier-free living for severely injured Veterans and their families. It’s a way to say “Thank you for your sacrifice,” and to help them on the long road to recovery and rebuilding their lives.
“Homecomings aren’t as joyous and smooth as we see in the movies or on TV. Readjusting to family life or transitioning to civilian life brings new challenges to the military family. I believe HFOT is most worthy of support not only because of the freedom our homes provide to our most severely injured Veterans, but because of the tangible impact these homes have on their families too.” –Richard A. Cody, General USA, Ret., Chairman of the Board, HFOT
Budget Blinds supports Veterans through HFOT
Budget Blinds® became a Corporate Sponsor with HFOT in 2014, with a commitment to provide window coverings in every home they build over a three-year period. Faux wood blinds from our exclusive Signature Series® collection are generously provided by our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, and have been installed in over 67 of the 220+ homes HFOT has built to date. Budget Blinds’ independent franchise business owners have devoted time and expertise to ensure that each home has professionally measured and expertly installed blinds for perfect fit and years of worry-free operation.
“Homes for Our Troops perfectly aligns with Budget Blinds’ commitment to honor U.S. military veterans. We are very proud to make this contribution to returning soldiers and their families.” –Shirin Behzadi, CEO of Budget Blinds and Home franchise Concepts
SGT Robert Barber joined the South Carolina Army National Guard shortly after high school, explaining that he “Joined the Army to give back to the community. I’ve always been patriotic andinterested in police and law enforcement and could do both in the Army.” He was deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008 with a Military Police Company and again in 2011 to Afghanistan, where a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device (IED) when he was on dismounted traffic control. SGT Barber says he was kept alive by heart massage on the flight to Bagram Air Base. He awoke in Walter Reed, in the States, to an amputated right leg, severely damaged left leg and intubated because his oxygen levels kept dropping. Final destination was Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he remained until fall 2013.
He and his wife, Heather, are grateful for the new, specially adapted HFOT home. He says there are no words to describe how it makes him feel, but Heather finds the words: “It’s definitely a life-change; you don’t realize how good you have it until you go through something like this. I’ll be able to go get groceries or do whatever I need to do knowing that he will be able to take care of the kids. That’s a major factor. You can’t put a price on what HFOT does. I know our life will never be as normal as it was before, but it will be as close to normal as possible.”
SGT Barber loves spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle and taking his family to baseball games. Future plans include college or law school. He says, “A specially adapted home will empower me to be a better husband and father. A chance to live with freedom is right up there with being given a second chance with my wife and children. I thank any person that supports HFOT from the bottom of my heart.”
Chris Petty, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Lexington, had the honor of measuring for and installing the blinds for SGT Barber’s home. Petty is a U.S. Army Veteran and his installer, Ryan Cunningham, is currently a U.S. Marine Corps Reservist, so they were delighted with the opportunity to serve a fellow Vet and make a real difference in his and his family’s lives.
Click here to see and hear SGT Barber and Heather share their story.
Meet Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Montera
In 2012 in Afghanistan, SFC Christopher Montera was on his fourth deployment when an enemy mortar round detonated explosives he and his battalion were working with and the secondary explosion threw him 50 feet. He sustained second and third degree burns over 60% of his body, a broken neck, broken legs, orbital fracture, a blast lung and spinal cord injury. The severity of his wounds required many surgeries, including amputation of both legs above the knee and extensive skin grafts. After months at the Poly Trauma VA Hospital in Palo Alto, he arrived at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego for physical therapy.
Despite his injuries, SFC Montera pursues an active lifestyle, including wheelchair fencing, adaptive Crossfit and duck hunting with his brother and father. He’s a member of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and works toward being healthy again. He is currently attending Southwestern College and wants to have his own business or production company, doing something creative. The new HFOT home will eliminate challenges of living in a traditional home where “the house is not well-suited for somebody in a wheelchair or with prosthetic legs.” He looks forward to a place that feels like his own house, adapted to his needs and with a fenced yard for his service dog, Simon.
“Homes for Our Troops gives you a sense that there definitely is a future. They help eliminate a lot of worry and anxiety. They are thinking long-term for the Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman to have a future beyond their injuries. It’s overwhelming and positive that there are people who want to see you succeed and live a good life. As one of many who are doing their best to regain a sense of purpose and direction in life, thank you for what your organization is doing.”
For franchise owners Jeff and Linda Schield of Budget Blinds serving North San Antonio, this is their fourth HFOT home, and they share the heart of many franchisees: “This project was an honor, especially knowing how much [Sergeant Montera] has sacrificed for our country.” They installed faux wood blinds throughout the home, with motorized blinds in the master bath to eliminate the potential danger of reaching across the tub.
Hear SFC Montera share his story by clicking here.
Faux wood blinds deliver beauty and energy efficiency
Budget Blinds chose classic, 2” white faux wood blinds as the pièce de résistance for the HFOT homes due to their design versatility and resistance to moisture and environmental factors like extreme heat or cold. Faux wood blinds are:
- Ideal for any room in the house and any climate.
- Easily paired with valances, curtains or drapes for a custom look.
- Energy- efficient and they provide UV protection for furnishings.
- Classically stylish and worry-free for years, resisting fading, chipping or peeling.
If new window treatments would make your home more comfortable, stylish or energy-efficient, Budget Blinds can help with our 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 www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you. Ask about one-touch motorization, eco-friendly products and child-safe cordless options for all your window covering needs.
To make a donation or to learn more about Budget Blinds’ support of Homes for Our Troops and how you can help provide homes for severely injured Veterans and their families, check out We Proudly Support Our Troops.