2015 started off with great excitement as two Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) veterans received the keys to their new, specially adapted homes in January. There’s just no better way to start off the New Year!

Marine Lance Corporal Thomas “Tommy” Parker  is 2015’s first home recipient and his Key Ceremony was January 10th. He shares his feelings about this new home: “With this gift of a specially adapted home, I will be able to focus on my family and my future. Daily activities…are going to be so much easier. That’s what Homes for Our Troops does, they are paying respect to the men and women of our Services who have been injured and it changed their lives. [Homes for Our Troops is] allowing them to have as normal a life as anybody else.” (Read Tommy’s story below.)

HFOT is dedicated to assisting severely injured veterans with ongoing recovery and rebuilding their lives by providing them with mortgage-free, specially adapted homes. Each home recipient has suffered catastrophic injuries such as multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis and/or severe traumatic brain injury resulting from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Budget Blinds® became an official Corporate Partner with HFOT in 2014. In collaboration with Springs Window Fashions®, our supportive manufacturing partner, Budget Blinds is committed to installing versatile faux wood blinds from the Signature Series® line into 120 homes over a three-year period.

Since 2004, HFOT and its corporate sponsors and partners, have built 180 specially adapted homes across the nation, with 47 more currently in various stages of completion. It’s an ongoing labor of love, in thankfulness for the sacrifices made in defending our country and the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Budget Blinds Supports Our Military Veterans

The Homes for Our Troops mission is a natural fit for Budget Blinds, who has a history of supporting military veterans due to strong ties to the military by our founders and franchise business owners alike.

  • Budget Blinds has had military veterans as franchisees since 2006.
  • Franchise owners around the country have participated in individual home renovation projects with other veteran-assist programs.
  • In October, 2013, Budget Blinds teamed up with NBC’s hit home improvement series,George to the Rescue, to help furnish a new home for retired Army Staff Sergeant Sandra Lee who suffered from PTSD and brain injury after eight tours of duty in Afghanistan.
  • On Veteran’s Day, 2013, Budget Blinds and its parent company, Home Franchise Concepts, launched the Million Dollar Franchise Event to help military veterans become franchise business owners.
  • Budget Blinds owners and employees participate in local HFOT Volunteer and Key Ceremony days across the country.
  • Budget Blinds franchise owners provided expert measuring and professional installation services for 11 HFOT homes in 2014.

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.”  –Todd Jackson, COO and co-founder of Budget Blinds

Meet Marine Lance Corporal “Tommy” Parker

Marine Lance Corporal Thomas “Tommy” Parker was on his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while returning to base after a day-long mission of clearing IEDs for a local farmer. His injuries claimed both his legs and his left fingers and forearm. A medically-induced coma got him safely to Walter Reed National Medical Center at Bethseda, MD, where he remained for two months of surgeries before being transferred to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego for 21 months of treatment before going home to Ronan, Montana.

Cpl Parker

Key Ceremony highlights: LCpl Parker with his daughter during speeches; the caravan to the home site, Budget Blinds franchisee Vicki Cockrell greeting LCpl Parker, and the flag raising at the presentation of the  new home

Tommy is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family. He looks forward to college, pursuing a degree in social linguistics and a doctorate in Law, with an eye to eventual state-level political involvement.

Vicki and Doug Cockrell, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Kalispell, MT, were excited to install the blinds for LCpl Parker and to participate in the Key Ceremony. “We have for a long time supported our military veterans by donating blinds to local housing projects here in our area. Participating in this HFOT project for…disabled veterans was very much welcomed by us. It is with much pleasure and great pride [that we are] part of this project to serve those who give up so much for the rest of us.”

Hear LCpl Parker’s story by clicking here.

Meet Marine Corporal Jason Hallett

Cpl Jason Hallett was on his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (EID) while clearing a compound of EIDs. His teammates gave emergency medical treatment and carried him to safety under heavy fire so he could be transported to the closest Forward Operating Base, where he was stabilized for the transport journey to Germany, then to Bethseda Naval Medical Center for six months and finally to the Balboa Naval Medical Center. In the explosion he lost both legs above the knees, his right arm above the elbow and suffered severe damage to his left hand.

Rachel Hallett

Rachel Hallett cuts the yellow ribbon to enter their new home; sharing a tender moment during Key Ceremony speeches; Joel Walters (Budget Blinds) with Cpl Jason Hallett and Rachel in their new home

A native of Colorado, Jason enjoys music, all sports and spending time with friends. He’s currently studying finance at Colorado State University and he and his wife, Rachel, are looking forward to raising a family in Windsor, CO, the site of their new HFOT home.

Jason shares:  “There’s always stairs in traditional housing, stairs everywhere and narrow doorways. The Homes for Our Troops homes are amazing, everything that pulls out and down to you…being able to roll into your shower and have a bench waiting…the automatic doors. [It all] makes it easier for me to be independent. It’s really good to have a helping hand to help [military veterans] get back up on our feet. This home will be life-changing. Thank you.”

Joel Walters, franchise owner of Budget Blinds serving Windsor, CO, measured for and installed the blinds for Cpl Hallett’s home and spoke on Key Ceremony day:  “We are extremely honored and inspired by Homes for Our Troops and their mission to help make a true difference in the lives of veterans. We feel blessed to be able, in some small way, to say ‘thank you’ to those who have served our country, especially those in our own community here in Windsor. We hope Cpl Hallett and his family will enjoy the beauty and convenience of these new window coverings for years to come as they settle into their home and start a new chapter in their life.

Click here for Jason’s story in his own words.

2015 will be a busy year with Homes for Our Troops anticipating placement of 40 veterans and their families into new homes. For information on how you can get involved locally or contribute to HFOT’s amazing mission, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/How_to_Help.

If you’re ready to renew and refresh the window treatments in your own home, with blinds, shades, shutters or drapes, 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. Browse our Design Guide and Inspired Drapes Lookbook and begin to reimagine your space in exciting new ways.