Too often, military veterans are the unsung heroes among us.
“Luis is indeed a national hero. During [three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan], he demonstrated his love for country…especially his love for his fellow soldiers. Luis is a young man with a caring heart who is willing to sacrifice himself in order for others to be safe.” These words are from the parents of Army Sergeant Luis Alvarado (his story is below), but they are appropriate for every service member who puts on a uniform:
- Love for country
- Caring heart
- Willing to sacrifice
And sacrifices are being made every day. Not only the separation from family and friends while deployed, but life and limb sacrifices that change people’s worlds forever. Since 2004, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a privately-funded, nonprofit organization, has been committed to “building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured veterans, Post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.
Budget Blinds® joined in partnership with HFOT in 2014 to provide faux wood blinds for every home they build over the next three years. These homes have over 40 special adaptations like wider doorways and “roll-under” wheelchair-accessible countertops in kitchens and bathrooms to meet the needs of veterans who have suffered multiple limb amputations, total or partial paralysis and Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s truly an honor to support the ministry of HFOT by helping to make a difference in the lives of injured veterans.
“Homes for Our Troops is fortunate to have the support of patriotic businesses like Budget Blinds to help us in our mission of building specially adapted homes for our nation’s veterans. Having partnerships like this is crucial in allowing us to return the gift of freedom and independence that these heroes fought so bravely to protect.” –Major General (USA, Retired) Timothy P. McHale –President/CEO of Homes for Our Troops
Window blinds provide safety and security
In conjunction with our long-time manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions® who provides the blinds, Budget Blinds has completed nearly 30 homes with custom window blinds that offer beauty, security and energy efficiency to veterans and their families. Expert measuring and installation services by a local Budget Blinds independent franchise business owner ensures that each home has professionally installed and perfectly fitted blinds.
This year, motorization by Somfy® has been added to the blinds in the master bath, increasing convenience and safety at the touch of a button. 2” white faux wood and composite blinds were chosen for the HFOT homes because of their versatility and resistance to moisture and other environmental factors like extreme heat or cold.
- Ideal for any climate and any room in the house; impervious to moisture, fading, chipping or peeling.
- Remain beautiful and worry-free for years, providing complete light and privacy control.
- Clean, classic lines easily pair with valances, curtains or drapes for a custom look.
Meet Army Sergeant Kevin Jaye
SGT Kevin Jaye was on his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on a foot patrol. The blast resulted in loss of his right leg, extensive damage to his left leg and ankle, loss of one finger on his right hand, damage to his left wrist and some hearing loss. SGT Jaye endured more than 30 surgeries over a two-year period at Walter Reed Medical Center. He recently walked in the Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C., and has set his sights on strengthening his left leg so he can eventually run. He plans to complete the computer support specialist college degree that he started years ago, and wants to empower fellow injured veterans and others with his story. “My goal is to show people that with a positive attitude, dedication and determination, you can achieve the unimaginable,” he says.
SGT Jaye and his wife, Lauren, are excited about the new, specially adapted HFOT house. He shares, “It’s just amazing that there are people out there that really do care to put something like this together. This will take all the pressure off me. Being able to get around the house and being able to help her more will give me peace of mind. I won’t have to maneuver stairs at all and can probably even take this brace off. It makes everything easier…it takes your breath away.”
Joe and Maripaul Parker, franchise owners of Budget Blinds serving Hagerstown expertly measured and installed the blinds for SGT Jaye’s new home. When approached about the HFOT build in their area they said, “Yes, we will happily participate! We’re honored to say ‘thank you’ in this small way to those who have served our country.” Click here to see SGT Jaye and Lauren share their story.
Meet Army Sergeant Luis Alvarado
In 2011, SGT Alvarado was in Afghanistan on his third deployment, on a road-clearing mission when a command-detonated EID exploded near his team. He was the only one injured, and was quickly airlifted to Kandahar. During the flight, he experienced cardiac arrest and received manual heart massage to resuscitate him. His parents, Julio and Sonia Alvarado, quickly joined him in Germany and learned he had lost both legs and suffered Traumatic Brain Injury. His father shares, “We were in shock when we saw the horror of how he looked.” SGT Alvarado received months of treatments between Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and James A. Haley VA in Tampa, and continues therapies in San Antonio, where his new HFOT home is located.
SGT Alvarado hopes to finish a college degree in Psychology and assist other service members who may be in similar situations and not have a strong family support network that is so important to him in his recovery. The whole family is excited about the home that will “bring a sense of normalcy back into his life, and a sense of security” says Sonia, of this this barrier-free, specially adapted home. Julio shared the overwhelming thankfulness they feel: “Homes for Our Troops has fulfilled our dream, our prayer, of a place for our son to call home.”
Franchise owners Linda and Jeffrey Schield of Budget Blinds serving North San Antonio, measured and expertly installed the blinds throughout the house, with remote control motorized composite blinds in the master bath. They attended the Key Ceremony when the home was awarded to SGT Alvarado: “San Antonio is a very strong military community. Supporting the Alvarado family in this project was an honor especially knowing how much the family has sacrificed for our country. SGT Alvarado’s injuries were very devastating and we are very proud to be a part of this project doing our part to make his and his family’s lives better.” Click here to listen to SGT Alvarado’s parents share his moving story.
If you would like to increase the energy efficiency in your home, or are ready to update window treatments for a more modern look, Budget Blinds can help with our designer collections of window treatments, including blinds, shutters, shades, drapes and more. 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. Ask about the convenience of motorization, eco-friendly products and child-safe cordless options for all your window covering needs.
To learn how you can support Homes for Our Troops by participating in a local build or making a donation, go to https://www.hfotusa.org/.