OurBravest.org is best viewed through IE9 and above. Please upgrade your browser to view the web content.

They stood up for you.
Will you stand up for them?

Building for America’s Bravest is a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that builds Smart Homes for our most catastrophically injured service members returning home. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Energy efficient, automated and easily accessible—these homes use "adaptive technology" to help our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives.

But as amazing as adaptive home technology is, it's far beyond the reach of most veterans and their modest pensions. The waiting list is long - and for every home we build, another three veterans join the list. When the call came, these brave service members went. They made extraordinary sacrifices in our place. Please help give them a home they can come home to. Your donation will make a real difference in a service hero’s life.

Meet a few of the many extraordinary Veterans who are supported by the Building for America’s Bravest program.

Sign up for the newsletter

Building for America's Bravest (BFAB) is a proud program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. It aims to raise funds to build custom designed, specially adapted homes for the most catastrophically injured American service members. The legacy began on September 11, 2001. FDNY father of five, Stephen Siller was on his way to meet his three brothers to play golf. Read More

ABOUT THE SMART HOMES

The needs of every catastrophically injured service member are different, and a Smart Home from Building for America’s Bravest program is specifically catered to the unique needs of its recipients. Smart Homes host a myriad of features such as automated doors and lighting, wider doors and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and more. Read More

OUR BRAVEST

image description

Share His Story:

Joe
Wilkinson

Air Force

Averill Park, NY

Tech Sgt. Joe Wilkinson joined the Air Force right out of high school in 1997. His tours of duty sent him to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is paralyzed from a degenerative nerve condition that is believed to have been caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during one of his deployments. Joe began to experience symptoms in 2007 and was medically retired by the Air Force in 2009.

Although his life has been a continuous struggle due to his injuries, Joe has been blessed with loved ones to help him regain his independence. “Now I know why there are homeless veterans,” Joe says. “My condition doesn’t just affect me. It affects my wife, my family, my sisters and brothers. It just goes down the line.”

Tech Sgt. Joe Wilkinson’s new smart home was presented to him and his family on Christmas Eve 2012. He is able to get around his property in his new Action Trackchair.

Joe is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing golf in his adaptive golf cart. Joe is also a loyal New York Mets fan, a devoted husband and a loving father of four beautiful children.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Joe
Wilkinson

Air Force

Averill Park, NY

image description

Share His Story:

Stephen K.
Valyou

Army

Harrisburg, PA

After 9/11, Stephen felt compelled to leave his duty as a firefighter and enlist in the Army. He served two tours of duty, each time gaining new skills and passion for the work.

In March 2007, while deployed in Iraq, SSG Stephen Valyou was conducting Explosive Ordnance Disposal operations. While responding to a report of an IED a sniper shot him. As a result, Stephen suffered a laceration to his liver, lung damage and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Stephen is a proud dad of two children and loving husband. He enjoys helping out on his in-laws farm and hunting and fishing with his son.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Stephen K.
Valyou

Army

Harrisburg, PA

image description

Share His Story:

Bo
Reichenbach

Navy

Billings, MT

Bo Reichenbach, a Special Operations 2 Navy Seal, was injured on July 17, 2012 in Afghanistan. While on foot patrol, Bo stepped on an IED and was critically injured, losing both of his legs above the knee and suffered significant damage to his right forearm.

He has had continuous support from his family, including his wife, Lacy, and son, Landon, along with all of his SEAL buddies and the new friends he made at Walter Reed during his stay.

Bo enjoys sled hockey, fly fishing, and motor sports. His favorite hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Bo
Reichenbach

Navy

Billings, MT

image description

Share His Story:

Adam
Keys

Army

Annapolis, MD

On July 14th, 2010, while serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan, SGT Adam Keys encountered a roadside bomb. As a result of the explosion, Adam suffered a brain injury, broken bones and an infection in his blood stream that resulted in the loss of both his legs and his left arm. Since the explosion, Adam has undergone well over 100 surgeries on his path to recovery.

Adam is a fan of the New York Jets, the Philadelphia Flyers, plays guitar, and enjoys going to concerts and listening to Tom Petty.

When asked about how a smart home will impact his life Adam replied, “Getting this home will allow my family and my future family to worry less about me and allow me to be the man I am.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Adam
Keys

Army

Annapolis, MD

image description

Share His Story:

John E.
Masson

Army

Southern Pines, NC

MSG John E. Masson committed 11 years of his life to military service. His injuries exemplify his dedication better than his awards and distinctions do. While stationed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, John stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost his legs and left arm. Immediately after the explosion, he aided his Medical Sergeant and teammates in treating his own wounds – actions that clearly saved his life.

John received the Purple Heart for his injuries and a Bronze Star for his actions in combat. Masson promises he will walk again. “It’s something I wish could be taped” Masson says. “The day it happens we could show it right back to the enemy – that you didn’t do anything to this guy.”

MSG John E. Masson currently resides in Fayetteville, NC with his wife Dustina and his three children. John also enjoys the game of golf.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

John E.
Masson

Army

Southern Pines, NC

image description

Share His Story:

Travis
Mills

Army

Manchester, ME

“Help my soldiers,” Travis Mills yelled several times at a medic. Minutes before, the staff sergeant lost his legs and arms after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED).

Travis, a weapons squad leader, brought over a dozen soldiers and an explosive ordnance disposal team to an abandoned Afghanistan National Army security post on April 10, 2012. Soon after entering the area, the bomb exploded. As a result of his extensive injuries, Travis suffered the loss of both arms and legs.

Travis has a no-nonsense approach to the devastating injuries he sustained. “Life’s hard, and this kind of stuff happens,” he says. “I’ve always been positive, I’ve always been motivated. I have to get better. I got a wife and child to take care of.”

In October 2014, Travis, his wife Kelsey, and daughter Chloe, received their new smart home.  When asked about what receiving a new smart home means for him and his family, Travis said, “This is the final step in my rehabilitation. The last bit of independence and freedom is owning a home.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Travis
Mills

Army

Manchester, ME

image description

Share His Story:

Travis
Green

Marine Corps

Canyon Lake, TX

GySgt. Travis Green enlisted in the Marines in 1999.  A true leader, Travis planned and participated in hundreds of Explosive Ordnance Disposal operations within the U.S. and abroad. He has neutralized countless UXO’s and hazardous devices, at times coordinating with various civilian agencies and other branches of the military.

Travis completed combat deployments to Kuwait and Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan in 2011.  Shortly before he was scheduled to return home, he was injured while under fire near Kajaki Dam.  As a result of an IED detonation, Travis suffered the loss of both legs above the knee.

Travis has not let his injury define him.  He enjoys rowing and hand cycling, and most of all, spending time with his family. Travis and his wife, Julie, are the proud parents of five wonderful children.  They are looking forward to living in their new smart home when it is completed.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Travis
Green

Marine Corps

Canyon Lake, TX

image description

Share His Story:

Ben
Harrow

Army

Bethesda, MD

On May 15, 2012, Ben stepped on an improvised explosive device while leading an anti-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. He lost both of his legs above the knee, two fingers and sustained injuries to his right forearm.

Ben is a decorated leader in the Army for the Green Berets. He graduated from West Point, where he received the Unsung Hero award his senior year. During his time in the US Army, he has earned the rank of Captain.

In 2008, Ben married his hometown sweetheart Gina and are now proud parents of their son Peyton. Ben has relied primarily on Gina to help motivate him to continue rehabilitation. A smart home will help Ben overcome his injury while taking care of his family.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Ben
Harrow

Army

Bethesda, MD

image description

Share His Story:

Michael
Schlitz

Army

Forston, GA

SFC Michael Schiltz says, “There are only two ways to find an improvised explosive device (IED). Either it finds you or you find it first. Unfortunately, it found us that day.”

In 2007, Michael and his unit were in Baghdad on a basic road-clearing mission looking for enemy explosives. Two artillery shells attached to a propane tank went off and destroyed Michael’s truck, threw him away from the blast, and set his entire body on fire. Michael describes the incident as “basically being burned alive.” He not only lost his arms and suffered burns on over 85% of his body but also had to deal with the tragic deaths of his crew-mates.

Today, Michael shares his story of what he has learned with fellow wounded servicemen and women. Michael says, “On the day I got hurt, I lost my entire crew.  Now, I want to live a better life for them. A life they would be proud of.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Michael
Schlitz

Army

Forston, GA

image description

Share His Story:

Andrew
Bottrell

Navy

Platteville, WI

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, Andrew Bottrell was injured on October 1, 2011, when the vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan. His injury resulted in the loss of both legs and his left arm.

His determination, sense of humor and support from his loving wife, family and friends fuel his road to regaining physical independence and a new quality of life.

Andrew enjoys metal and woodworking, off-roading and keeping physically active.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Andrew
Bottrell

Navy

Platteville, WI

image description

Share His Story:

Rusty
Dunagan

Army

Edmond, OK

On September 21, 2010, SSG Rusty Dunagan was conducting combat operations in Afghanistan, when a land mine and homemade bomb was detonated. As a result of the blast, Rusty suffered amputation of both legs and his left arm. Rusty has overcome serious infections and endured over thirty surgeries.

Throughout his recovery, Rusty has been surrounded by the love and support of his parents, brother, wife and five beautiful children.

Rusty enjoys grilling, hunting and reading a good book.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Rusty
Dunagan

Army

Edmond, OK

image description

Share His Story:

Timothy
Donley

Marine Corps

Telford, PA

On February 9th, 2012, while on a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan, Cpl. Timothy Donley encountered the enemy. Shortly after he warned his men that they were being watched, an improvised explosive device (IED), was detonated. As a result of the explosion, Timothy suffered the loss of both legs above the knee. His right arm, elbow and hands sustained injury, including severe nerve damage.

Throughout his recovery, Timothy has been blessed with the support of his family, friends and church community. A smart home will have a very positive impact on Timothy’s day-to-day life. “My family has lived overseas since before I was born and has rented homes and apartments in many locations. With a smart home I will have a specific location to live and function from. I can be independent in a smart home and concentrate on going back to school and finding a job I love rather than just expending all my energy ‘surviving’.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Timothy
Donley

Marine Corps

Telford, PA

image description

Share His Story:

Tyler
Huffman

Marine Corps

Jefferson City, MO

Cpl. Tyler Huffman, a husband and father, was asked in an interview, what he would want people to know about being a Marine. He replied, “That freedom is not free. It has a price. It always has and always will.” It was in the process of defending and protecting us in Afghanistan, that Tyler suffered injuries from two shots into his chest, that left him paralyzed in 2010.

Tyler stated, “We are the greatest and most blessed nation, and we take too many things for granted. We should be grateful to God for our freedom and liberty.”

Tyler received his smart home in November 2012. He says his home has drastically improved the lives of his wife and son and has made him self-sufficient once again.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Tyler
Huffman

Marine Corps

Jefferson City, MO

image description

Share His Story:

Thomas Caleb
Getscher

Marine Corps

Chaptico, MD

On June 18, 2011, LCpl. Getscher (who goes by his middle name, Caleb) was on foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device detonated. The blast resulted in the instant loss of Caleb’s left leg below the knee and caused a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that impacts his short-term memory.  As a result of shrapnel and infection, Caleb also suffered the loss of his right leg above the knee and left arm below the elbow.

Caleb’s wife, daughter, parents and many friends, both old and new, have helped to support him since the injury.  Caleb plans to have his smart home built next door to his parents’ home in order to continue to have love and support close by.

In his free time, Caleb enjoys music, watching the Nebraska Huskers with his dad, and playing wheelchair basketball.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Thomas Caleb
Getscher

Marine Corps

Chaptico, MD

image description

Share His Story:

Larry
Bailey, II

Marine Corps

Stafford, VA

In 2007, Cpl. Larry Bailey made his father proud by following in his footsteps and enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. He showed his commitment to others while deployed as a Senior Machine Gunner in Afghanistan. When an enemy attack caused a fellow service member to be injured, Larry immediately provided cover fire that allowed the Marines to transport their comrade to
safety.

In 2011, Larry and his unit were ambushed by small arms and machine-gun fire that killed a fellow Marine. While trying to repel the assault, Larry struck an improvised explosive device (IED) and was injured, resulting in the amputation of both legs above the knee and loss of his left hand. Larry received the Purple Heart for his combat wounds.

Cpl. Larry Bailey is currently an outpatient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is undergoing daily physical and occupational therapy.  A smart home will provide for both Larry and his wife Desiree’s need to live independently.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Larry
Bailey, II

Marine Corps

Stafford, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Bryan
Dilberian

Army

Staten Island, NY

On July 1, 2011, following 24 hours of routine patrol, Brooklyn native, SGT Bryan Dilberian was critically wounded in an IED explosion.  Bryan’s best friend, PFC Jimmy Waters, was killed instantly.  As a result of his extensive injuries, Bryan lost both legs below the knee and his left arm below the elbow.  He suffered shrapnel wounds to his face and neck.  It was a miracle that he survived.

Not more than ten days after his initial surgery, Bryan began to fight his way back. He persevered through physical and occupational therapy in order to strengthen his body for everything that was to come.  Displaying immense strength, and with the support of his family, Bryan has continued on with his life.  He doesn’t second-guess his decision to serve, saying, “I would do it a million times over.  There’s nothing to regret about it.  I did something for the country and I’m proud of myself.”

Bryan’s interests include fishing, rock music, and comedy, especially the humor of Jim Carey, Will Ferrell, and Bill Burr. He looks forward to the day when his new smart home enables him to be more self-reliant.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Bryan
Dilberian

Army

Staten Island, NY

image description

Share His Story:

Kevin
Trimble

Army

New Orleans, LA

SPC Kevin Trimble was wounded on September 18, 2001. He lost both of his legs above the knee and his left arm above the elbow when a fellow soldier had stepped on a pressure plate IED.

Kevin’s four siblings, especially his sisters, and his good friend, Michael, have supported him post-injury.

Kevin is an avid clay shooter, automobile tinkerer and gamer. He is looking forward to his smart home being built with a garage to tinker in.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Kevin
Trimble

Army

New Orleans, LA

image description

Share His Story:

Todd
Love

Marine Corps

Douglasville, GA

Third generation Marine, Cpl. Todd Love was on patrol in Afghanistan on the morning of Oct. 25, 2010, when he triggered an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both his legs and his left arm. After the injury, Todd says, “I’ve gained more than I’ve lost. People praying for me have been carrying my life. I’m not sure they realize the power of their prayers, but I feel honored and humbled that people can be closer to God because of me.”

Despite his unique tenacity, his loss has carried irreversible consequences: “I’ve had to grow up. At the same time I have had to be like a little child. I’ve had to relearn everything and rely on others.”

Todd’s struggles have not stopped him. He is currently working on his sky diving certification and is already a fully certified scuba diver. Todd says he is grateful that with one limb left he can still surf and play Bach’s Solfeggietto on the piano.

Todd received his smart home in the summer of 2014.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Todd
Love

Marine Corps

Douglasville, GA

image description

Share His Story:

Kyle
Hockenberry

Army

Marietta, OH

“For those I love I will sacrifice.”  How profound those words, which are tattooed on CPL Kyle Hockenberry’s torso, turned out to be.  Kyle did indeed sacrifice, through his day-to-day service as a soldier with the 1st Infantry Division, and most especially, on one fateful day in Afghanistan.

On June 15, 2011, while on foot patrol, 19-year-old Kyle stepped on a pressure plate IED and was blown over a two story grape hut.  The blast cost him both of his legs above the knee and his left arm.  Relying on his own strength and determination, Kyle has continued to move forward, aided by the unwavering support of his wife, parents and extended family.

Kyle is a huge fan of the Miami Hurricanes and hopes to open his own gun shop someday.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Kyle
Hockenberry

Army

Marietta, OH

image description

Share His Story:

Juan
Dominguez

Marine Corps

Temecula, CA

Cpl. Juan Dominguez slipped down a small embankment while out on patrol and landed on a buried bomb. In the explosion he lost both his legs above the knee and his right arm.

Despite Juan’s injuries, multiple surgeries, and grueling occupational and physical therapy sessions, he is thriving: “My injuries that I sustained in Afghanistan against the enemy forces were well worth it. I love this country.”

Cpl. Dominguez received his smart home with wife, Alexis, on September 11, 2012. When asked about the specially adapted house, Juan says “it changed my life.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Juan
Dominguez

Marine Corps

Temecula, CA

image description

Share His Story:

Doug
Vitale

Marine Corps

Peters Township, PA

On September 25, 2011, while leading his squad on foot patrol in Afghanistan, Sgt. Doug Vitale stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), and lost both of his legs above the knee. Due to blood loss Doug suffered strokes on both sides of his brain. His fellow Marines in the field put their own lives in jeopardy in order to get Doug to safety and back home to his family.

Doug has the support of his parents, siblings, close friends and his loving wife, Alexis. In the summer of 2013, Doug returned to his home community of Pittsburg after spending time in recovery at the Polytrauma Rehabilitation program for brain injury at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Florida.

Sgt. Vitale received his smart home on July 4, 2014.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Doug
Vitale

Marine Corps

Peters Township, PA

image description

Share His Story:

Ben
Tomlinson

Marine Corps

Jacksonville, AL

Sgt. Ben Tomlinson deployed twice with the United States Marine Corps. On his second tour of duty Ben was shot by enemy fire while providing rooftop security for his team. As a result, courageous Ben was paralyzed with limited mobility below his chest. When asked about his injuries Ben positively replied, “This is not the way I am going to be forever”.

Ben’s loving parents and brothers have been extremely supportive throughout his recovery process. Ben is extremely active and enjoys wheelchair rugby, hand cycling and watching the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Ben
Tomlinson

Marine Corps

Jacksonville, AL

image description

Share His Story:

JB
Kerns

Marine Corps

Ararat, VA

In September 2011, the residents of Ararat, VA greeted JB Kerns with waving flags on his homecoming as a motorcycle motorcade escorted him home. The event was in tribute to JB’s service as a combat engineer in the US Marine Corps. JB’s third tour of duty in Afghanistan took a catastrophic turn when he lost three of his limbs and sustained severe injuries from an improvised explosive device. JB has undergone extensive surgeries and strenuous physical and occupational therapy.

JB’s smart home was dedicated in September 2014. JB played an integral part in the design of his smart home, especially the unique wood detailing elements within.

Living in a smart home, JB says he’ll be able to “roll into the shower in my wheelchair and have easier access to things in the kitchen and throughout the house.” In JB’s words, smart homes, “make living easier.”

JB’s passion for automotives; working on cars, mudding in his track, racing his Mustang and being an avid NASCAR fan keeps a smile on his face.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

JB
Kerns

Marine Corps

Ararat, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Todd
Nicely

Marine Corps

Lake Ozarks, MO

On March 26, 2010, Cpl. Todd Nicely was leading his 1st Squad infantrymen back from a security patrol in Afghanistan. Just as he began to cross the bridge, he stepped on a pressure-plate rigged to a mine. He lost both legs and both arms.

Todd’s take on his injury would humble most of us: “I consider myself pretty lucky.  I wake up every morning and figure I have a second chance at life, so I get up and go.”  He is an inspiration to other injured service members who are encouraged by the positive example that Todd has set.

Todd received his smart home in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri in June 2012.  He continues to “get up and go” everyday.

When Todd was asked about the benefits of having a smart home, he explained, “The foundation doesn’t build cookie-cutter homes for these guys, they build them for their special needs, any one home is not going to be the exact same when you get into it. That’s a big thing when you’re a young man in the military coming out, 23, 24 years old, you don’t want someone having to take care of you. I’m grateful that someone was able to step up and build me a home like this.”

Click here to see Todd explain how his smart home has changed his life.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Todd
Nicely

Marine Corps

Lake Ozarks, MO

image description

Share His Story:

Michael
Nicholson

Marine Corps

Tampa, FL

Eight months after arriving at the National Naval Medical Center, Sgt. Michael Nicholson was greeted by thousands of supporters when he returned home to Tampa, Florida. At his church, he spoke to the crowd, “I just want to ask for one more thing, please pray for the guys still in Afghanistan. Pray for the ones who didn’t make it back.”

Sgt. Michael Nicholson was on combat foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED), causing him to lose both legs and his left arm. Despite his personal trauma, Michael says he was awestruck by his hometown’s support, “They have done so much for me. I wish I could do something for them.”

After almost two years at Walter Reed, Mike retired from the Marine Corps in April 2013 and moved back to Tampa where he enthusiastically received his smart home. He had been intimately involved in the design and layout of the home to help maximize accessibility that would provide him the independence he deserves.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Michael
Nicholson

Marine Corps

Tampa, FL

image description

Share His Story:

Taylor
Morris

Navy

Cedar Falls, IA

While leading a team in Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech Taylor Morris, stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), and was immediately injured.

Taylor says, “As soon as I stepped on it, I knew. I heard the blast. I felt the heat. I knew I had lost my legs.  As I somersaulted through the air, I watched my legs fly off.”

Even though Taylor was severely injured and had lost a tremendous amount of blood his focus was still on protecting those around him, warning oncoming medics to not come near him: “I told my buddies to stop. It would only have hurt me more if somebody stepped on another one.”

Taylor loves gardening and spending time with his loving parents, two sisters, brother and Danielle, his high school sweetheart and fiancé.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Taylor
Morris

Navy

Cedar Falls, IA

image description

Share His Story:

Christopher
Walker

Army

Altavista, VA

On April 24, 2012, SSG Christopher Walker was on a 28-hour mission in Afghanistan when he was informed  that a vehicle had been hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Chris went to investigate and clear the area for possible secondary explosives. Chris encountered an IED that threw him over 50 yards. Medics transported him to the closest hospital base for care. His injury resulted in the amputation of his left leg, left arm above the elbow and right arm below the elbow.

Chris is the proud parent of daughter, Kali and husband to Tiana. His wife is currently an active duty EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) technician.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Christopher
Walker

Army

Altavista, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Timothy
Brown

Marine Corps

Western Loundon County, VA

Timothy Brown joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, SSgt Brown became an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech) and after two years he deployed to Afghanistan again, this time as a member of 1st EOD Company.

On February 3, 2011, while responding to an improvised explosive device (IED), SSgt Brown triggered a secondary IED. As a result of the explosion, he lost both his legs above the knee, his right arm above the elbow, damage to his left hand, and other extensive injuries. Despite a challenging recovery, Tim strives to be a mentor to other catastrophically injured heroes.

Tim began hand cycling as part of rehabilitation. Now his passion, he rides daily and competes across the country.  He even completed Race Across America as part of an 8-man team.

When asked about how a smart home will impact his life Tim replied, “The home will provide a stable place to live, for the first time in a decade, and allow me to focus my energies less on how I am going to get things done throughout the day, and more on accomplishing my goals with cycling and photography.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Timothy
Brown

Marine Corps

Western Loundon County, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Ronny
Porta

Marine Corps

Lovettsville, VA

A native of Peru, Ronny Porta’s life-long dream was to become a U.S. Marine. After graduating high school, Ronny enlisted, and two years later on May 5, 2007, while serving in Al Asad, Iraq, the Humvee he was driving struck an improvised explosive device (IED), severely burning Ronny over 80% of his body. His fellow marines and dear friends, Msgt. Kenneth Mack and Cpl. Charles Palmer II made the ultimate sacrifice that day.

Cpl. Porta suffered the loss of his right arm, fingers on his left hand and facial disfigurement. Ronny has undergone well over 100 surgeries to aid in his recovery.

Ronny and his wife Deicy are proud parents to son, Kenneth Charles, who was named in honor of Ronny’s fallen brothers.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Ronny
Porta

Marine Corps

Lovettsville, VA

image description

Share His Story:

John
Peck

Marine Corps

Fredericksburg, VA

Two time Purple Heart recipient USMC Sgt. John Peck was seriously injured in service to our country, first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan.

In 2007, while conducting a search mission with his unit in Iraq, John was knocked unconscious when an IED exploded underneath his truck. Having suffered a traumatic brain injury, John was left with a myriad of problems and a long period of recovery. Eventually well enough to return to the job he loved, John re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and found himself back in combat– this time in Afghanistan.

During this deployment, in May of 2010, John’s life was forever changed by another IED explosion which claimed both of his legs and one arm. Infection took a great toll on his body as well, invading John’s remaining arm, making him the third surviving quadruple amputee from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He struggled to hold on to life, and eventually grew strong again.

Today, despite all he has endured, John is positive and proud. He has been approved for a double arm transplant that will help him to regain some functionality and independence, and dreams of someday opening his own restaurant. There is no doubt, that with this Marine, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

John
Peck

Marine Corps

Fredericksburg, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Edward “Flip”
Klein

Army

Seattle, WA

A 2006 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, CPT Edward “Flip” Klein was leading his company on a mission in Afghanistan when he was struck by a dismounted improvised explosive device (IED). His injury resulted in the loss of both his legs and right arm, with significant damage to his remaining hand.

When asked about the love and support he received during rehabilitation Flip said, “My wife has been the rock of my recovery and has been with me the entire way”. Flip’s parents also moved to Bethesda for 8 months, where Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is located, to help support him during the most demanding phases of his recovery.

Flip enjoys winter sports and keeping active year round by cycling. The Klein’s have chosen to live in the Seattle, Washington area.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Edward “Flip”
Klein

Army

Seattle, WA

image description

Share His Story:

Christian
Brown

Marine Corps

Munford, TN

On December 13, 2011, Cpl. Brown stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan and was severely wounded. He sustained multi-trauma to both hands and arms, the loss of both legs, internal injuries, and wounds to his upper left leg. He was in a coma for about a month.

Christian is currently living at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and is continuing rehabilitation from his catastrophic injuries.

Christian is an outdoorsman who enjoys fishing and hunting and would love nothing more than to rejoin his friends and family in Tennessee.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Christian
Brown

Marine Corps

Munford, TN

image description

Share His Story:

Thomas
McRae

Marine Corps

Maple Hill, NC

Alaska native, Thomas McRae enlisted in the Marines at age 18. He served three tours of duty in Iraq and by the age of 29 was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he sustained catastrophic injuries.

On January 16, 2012, McRae was on foot patrol investigating an explosive threat when an improvised explosive device was detonated underneath him. Thomas suffered the loss of both his legs, left arm, and he sustained injuries to his brain and loss of sight in his right eye.

Friends and fellow Marines describe Thomas as a true leader, friend and selfless in his actions. GySgt. McRae is also a loving parent to daughter, Aidan.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Thomas
McRae

Marine Corps

Maple Hill, NC

image description

Share His Story:

Zachary
Parker

Army

Moss Bluff, LA

In June of 2012, as his year-long deployment to Afghanistan was nearing its end, Army medic, Zachary Parker, was on route clearance patrol when he stepped on a dismounted IED.  Zach became a triple amputee, losing his left arm through the shoulder, right leg at the hip, and left leg above the knee.

The Louisiana native’s entire family, as well as his good friends, came to his side to lend support and encouragement.  Zach, whose wife also serves in the military, continues to progress through his rehabilitation in San Antonio, Texas.

He enjoys fishing, hunting, and swimming, and is a big Steelers fan.

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Zachary
Parker

Army

Moss Bluff, LA

image description

Share His Story:

Mark
Litynski

Marine Corps

Duluth, MN

Cpl. Mark Litynski always wanted to be in the Marine Corps, so after a year of college he decided to enlist, despite leaving behind his girlfriend, Heather, whom he knew he would miss. After two years and a Marine expedition deployment, Mark and Heather were married.

During Mark’s second deployment in Afghanistan, he volunteered to be the point man on a foot patrol. On November 19, 2010, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He suffered the loss of both legs above the knee and his left arm above the elbow, in addition to breaking his pelvis. Just two months after his injury, he was up and walking on his first set of prosthetics.

When asked about how a smart home will impact his life, Mark replied, “It will relieve my wife’s anxiety when she is working, and it will allow me to be more independent and take better care for our kids when they come into the picture.”

Click here to hear how a smart home from Building for America’s Bravest has changed the life of one of our bravest.

Please donate to the Building for America’s Bravest program and help build smart homes for our brave service members.

Mark
Litynski

Marine Corps

Duluth, MN

About the Foundation

Building for America’s Bravest (BFAB) is a proud program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. It aims to raise funds to build custom designed, specially adapted homes for the most catastrophically injured American service members.

The legacy began on September 11, 2001. FDNY father of five, Stephen Siller was on his way to meet his three brothers to play golf. When he heard on his scanner what had happened at the World Trade Center, brave Stephen strapped on 60 lbs. of firefighter gear, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site. Stephen was last seen with his brothers of Squad 1; all of whom died saving others.

Stephen’s loved ones organized the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The organization helped establish the Tunnel to Towers Run, a living, breathing tribute to all that died on 9/11 and to those who serve in the line of duty to protect our country. Participants of the Tunnel To Towers Run retrace the final footsteps of heroic Stephen Siller from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site.

What began as a runner-led memorial for Siller eventually evolved into ensuring that honor and service is provided to the brave men and women serving in America’s recent wars, as well as our courageous first responders who serve domestically each and every day. In 2011, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation officially began the Building for America’s Bravest program (BFAB) to provide a specially adaptive home for the first ever quadruple amputee to survive, Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco. By the end of 2013, BFAB has the goal to have completed or broken ground on 23 Smart Homes for veterans across the country.

About the Smart Homes

The needs of every catastrophically injured service member are different, and a Smart Home from Building for America’s Bravest program is specifically catered to the unique needs of its recipients. Smart Homes host a myriad of features such as automated doors and lighting, wider doors and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and central heating and air condition systems that can be controlled by iPads.

Through your donations, the Building for America’s Bravest program can help America’s bravest military heroes support their families and live the rest of their lives as independently as possible.  A contribution of any size is fully tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. If you can donate your time and talents,  T2Trun.org is always looking for volunteers for events held around the country. If you are a part of a corporation looking to make an impact please email partners@ourbravest.org

Share