Tunnel to Towers Foundation Delivers Mortgage-Free Homes To Five Families In Honor of Gold Star Spouses Day

NEW YORK [APRIL 5, 2024] — The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is observing Gold Star Spouses Day by delivering mortgage-free homes to five families who lost loved ones in service to our country. 

The Foundation paid off the mortgage or delivered a mortgage-free home to the families of: 

  • Army Specialist Kurtis Vogel – Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Army Staff Sergeant Dustin DeBoer – Caledonia, Michigan 
  • Marine Corps Sergeant Joseph Murray – Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
  • Army Staff Sergeant Nathan Hillman – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Army Chief Warrant Officer David Bankston – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Gold Star Spouses Day is a day to honor these remarkable individuals and the sacrifices they make when a loved one goes to serve our country. 

Today is a solemn reminder of the losses felt by the families of our fallen heroes. It is a day to recognize the resilience and strength of our Gold Star Spouses. Tunnel to Towers honors the memory of their loved ones and wants these families to know their sacrifices have not been forgotten,” said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 

Army Specialist and Virginia Beach Police Detective Kurtis Vogel passed away on March 5, 2023, from cancer connected to his military service. SPC Vogel dedicated his life to serving his country and community, with the Army and the Virginia Beach Police Department. He leaves behind his wife, Brianne, and their two children. Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgage on his family’s Virginia Beach, Virginia home. 

I am so grateful to receive Tunnel to Towers’ support on Gold Star Spouse Day. My husband would be elated to know that Tunnel to Towers has supported his family and taken this huge burden off of my shoulders. My husband was a proud Army veteran and police officer. He strived to make his country and community a better place and did it with great pride. It has been so moving to see his dedication to his country and community honored and passed down to our family,” said Brianne Vogel.  

Army Staff Sergeant Dustin DeBoer enlisted in 2002 and served four overseas deployments, two to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. He developed service-related cancer and lost his battle against the disease on July 16, 2012. He leaves behind his wife Emily DeBoer, and their two children. Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgage on their Caledonia, Michigan home. 

“Tunnel to Towers took away some pressure and gave me a little bit of peace during a really difficult time,” said Emily DeBoer, who added, “We are incredibly grateful for Tunnel to Towers  and realize what an amazing blessing this is, truly an answer to a prayer for us!” 

Marine Corps Sergeant Joseph Murray was killed with 15 other service members when their military transport plane crashed in Mississippi on July 10, 2017. He enlisted after high school and served two deployments to Afghanistan. He leaves behind his wife Gayle and their four children. 

“I’m thankful for Tunnel to Towers. It helps me to feel like we are not forgotten and that Joe is not forgotten,” said Gayle Murray.

On December 12, 2022, United States Army Staff Sergeant Nathan Hillman was murdered while working on base. SSG Hillman joined the Army in 2012 and served his country for a decade. He leaves behind his wife, Nichole, and two daughters. 

“I am eternally grateful to Tunnel to Towers for helping provide me with a home where my girls can grow up,” said Nichole. 

The Tunnel to Towers Gold Star Family Home Program honors the legacy of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country by paying off the mortgage or providing the surviving spouses and young children with mortgage-free homes.

Join Tunnel to Towers on its mission to provide mortgage-free homes for Gold Star families by going to T2T.org and donating $11 a month.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Born from the tragedy of 9/11, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation carries out its mission to “do good,” by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and by building specially-adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. Tunnel to Towers is also committed to eradicating veteran homelessness and helping America to Never Forget September 11, 2001. Visit t2t.org to learn more.

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Trevor Tamsen — trevor.tamsen@t2t.org