The most severely wounded combat veterans often need specially adapted housing, and that housing doesn't come cheap. That's where Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) comes in.
So far the non-profit, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2019, has built and donated 274 custom homes to wounded warriors with 79 more homes in different stages of being built. While HFOT President and CEO retired Army Brigadier General Tom Landwermeyer is proud of what the organization has accomplished to this point, he says there's still a lot of work to be done.
"We've got another 102 severely wounded veterans in the process of applying for our program," Landwermeyer says. "And working with the VA, we think there's about a thousand guys and gals out there that still need our help."
Building adapted homes is costly, particularly when you consider that HFOT donates them free of charge to the veterans who receive them. To deal with that, Landwermeyer says the organization runs fundrasiing events across the country to make ends meet, and recently received a big boost in the form of a grant from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
WWP Communications Director for Government and Community Relations Joe Plenzler says that when it comes to partnerships, one thing they're looking for is organizations that fill critical gaps that WWP simply can't. He points to HFOT as a shining example of that.
"We don't build houses," Plenzler says. "...They do, and they've really cracked the code on how to do that in a very effective and meaningful way across the country."
While that partnership with WWP is certainly a big help to HFOT, Landwermeyer says it's an ongoing battle to secure funding to complete as many homes as possible. He says that anyone who's interested in helping out can do so in a variety of ways to include volunteering at build sites, hosting a fundraiser, and more.
While there are many ways to help out HFOT, the general says there's only one reason anyone should need: to repay those who have done so much for America.
"They all raised their right hand and voluntarily came in, served and selflessly sacrificed downrange," Landwermeyer says. "So that the rest of us could maintain and enjoy our freedoms and everyday way of life."