Tunnel to Towers Delivers Mortgage-Free Smart Home to U.S. Army Veteran Captain James Howard
On November 10 ahead of Veterans Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation welcomes an American hero into his new mortgage-free smart home in Richmond, VA.
Capt. Howard served in the Army for eight years before he had to medically retire in 2010 due to multiple injuries he received throughout his years of service. His injuries began in January of 2004 when he sustained a concussion during a firefight in which his patrol was ambushed by ten IEDs and his vehicle was hit by two RPG’s. Only a month later Capt. Howard was on foot patrol with one of his team leaders when four IEDs exploded about ten feet from them. The blast threw him and he suffered another concussion, broke his collarbone, damaged his c-level vertebrae and also caught some shrapnel. In February of 2008 Howard was conducting a long distance endurance swim for exercise when he injured his neck further in a diving accident. As a result, Capt. Howard is now a C5 quadriplegic with no hand function, no leg function, and paralyzed from the chest down.
A procession by Chesterfield Fire and EMS led a motorcade of Patriot Guard motorcycle riders to escort the Howard family to their home dedication ceremony. The Chesterfield Police Department provides their Pipe and Drum and a color guard for the ceremony.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the Howard to welcome them back into their home. In addition to lifting the financial burden of a mortgage, Tunnel to Towers made their home more accessible, adding an ADA-compliant bedroom and deck to the home.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program builds specially adapted smart homes to help our most catastrophically injured veterans reclaim their day-to-day independence.
“It’s the most gracious gift my family can receive. To know that I can spend the rest of my life in this home, and that it will be in my family forever,” said Captain Howard.
Captain Howard is a third-generation soldier, with members of his family serving America from WWII through the War on Terror.
Howard graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 2002 and served in Iraq and completed Ranger, Sapper, Jumpmaster, and Special Forces courses. Howard medically retired from the Army in 2010 after numerous combat and training injuries that left him a quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound.
Captain Howard considers his injury a blessing by misfortune which led him to start two all-volunteer nonprofits that assist veterans and children with disabilities. Veterans and Athletes United (VAU) has supported over 6,000 veterans since 2013 through accessible retreats and adaptive sports programs. REACHcycles has provided over 1,000 specially adapted bikes to children with disabilities.
Captain Howard also designed and coordinated the effort to build the VAU traveling Global War on Terror Memorial Flag, which is made up of more than 7,000 dog tags inscribed with the names of those killed in the War on Terror. A copy of the memorial is on display at the ceremony.
In attendance at the dedication ceremony are U.S. Army Captain James Howard, his wife Amanda and son Luke, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller, Ret. FDNY Battalion Commander and Tunnel to Towers Board Member Jack Oehm, U.S. Army Col. Eddie Ray (who served with Captain Howard), Clover Hill District Supervisor and Current Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Winslow, Chesterfield County Administrator Dr. Joseph P. Casey.
Join us on our mission to provide smart homes to America’s heroes by donating $11 per month at T2T.org. About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For more than 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes.
For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.
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Media Contact: Trevor Tamsen – Trevor.Tamsen@T2T.org
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