In observance of Independence Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgages in full on the homes for over 30 Gold Star and Fallen First Responder families and presented a catastrophically injured veteran with a mortgage-free smart home. Nineteen Fallen First Responder families, 12 Gold Star families, and 1 injured veteran now have forever homes.
The Foundation welcomes USMC Staff Sergeant Benjamin Webb, a 3x Purple Heart recipient, to his new smart home in New Jersey on June 28th.
“It’s been a long road, a long struggle, many dark days of worry, of wondering, and hoping, of praying, and waiting but not anymore. I never stopped believing this day would come, that I would be able to come home, here in my little corner of the world,” said SSgt Webb.
SSgt Benjamin Webb served four overseas deployments, three to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. During his 15 years of service to his country, he suffered multiple concussions and shrapnel wounds from RPG and IED blasts. He was awarded 3 Purple Hearts and retired in 2017.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program builds specially-adapted smart homes, giving America’s catastrophically injured veterans some of their day-to-day independence back and delivers them mortgage-free to these American Heroes.
“Having a mortgage free home has improved my life immensely not just mentally, but both physically and emotionally, I’m able to enjoy life again. This home will cater to my everyday physical needs, it is such a relieving feeling,” said SSgt Webb.
“This year, as we celebrate July 4th, I am honored to hand over the keys to a home that will deliver financial and personal independence back to Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, who has given so much to this country we all love,” said Frank Siller, Chairman & CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Tunnel to Towers also ensured that 31 Gold Star and Fallen First Responder families who lost loved ones in the line of duty will be able to celebrate Independence Day in their forever homes.
On June 14, 2022, El Monte Police Corporal Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana were shot and killed when they responded to a domestic violence call at a motel. Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgages held on both of the fallen officers’ homes.
Corporal Paredes’ wife, Janine, said Tunnel to Towers has provided her family with a sense of stability as they grieve the tremendous loss of a husband and father.
“Because of Tunnel to Towers, I am able to raise my children in the only place they have ever called home. A place where all their memories of their father live. Michael worked hard to create this life for us, and he would have been honored to be recognized by such an amazing Foundation,” said Janine Paredes.
Officer Santana’s wife, Sasha, added, “Nothing will ever replace my husband, but knowing my children will still have their home to grow up in gave me some light amid all this pain.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Fallen First Responder Home Program pays off the mortgages for the families with children of fallen first responders who die in the line of duty or pass away from 9/11-related illnesses.
To learn more about the 31 fallen heroes and the families they left behind, visit T2T.org.
Please consider joining us on our mission to provide mortgage-free homes to these heroes by donating $11 per 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.