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

The Siller Family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001. The goal of the Foundation is to continue Stephen’s legacy through its programs that support our nation’s first responders and catastrophically injured service members. Read More

ABOUT THE SMART HOMES

The needs of every catastrophically injured service member are unique. A smart home from our Building for America’s Bravest program is designed and constructed to meet the specific needs of its recipients. Smart homes features include, but are not limited to, automated doors and lighting, wide doorways and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and central heating and air conditioning systems that can be controlled by tablets. Read More

OUR BRAVEST

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.

Ben received a smart home in Jacksonville, Alabama in November of 2014.

Click here to view Ben Tomlinson’s homecoming video.

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:

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:

Adam
Keys

Army

Annapolis, MD

On July 14th, 2010, while serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan, SSG 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.”

Adam received his smart home in July 2015.

Click here to view coverage of Adam’s homecoming.

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:

Robert
Easley, Jr

Army

Niceville, Florida

Early in 2012, Army SGT Robert Easley, Jr. and his unit, the 787th EOD, 3rd Explosive Ordnance, were deployed to southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On October 15, 2012, his mission was to support the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment’s effort to defeat the Taliban. While conducting operations as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, SGT Easley stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both legs above the knee, and sustained multiple injuries to his right hand including partial amputation of his pointer, middle, and index fingers, a sliced tendon on his pinky, and large wounds on the palm and top of his hand.

SGT Easley, who grew up in Carlisle, Pa., spent considerable time in the hospital and underwent 15 months of bone lengthening surgical procedures to increase his chances of walking on prosthetics.

The smart home to be built for Easley and his wife Megan in Niceville, Florida is in the planning stage.

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.

Robert
Easley, Jr

Army

Niceville, Florida

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 watch how TEAM DEPOT and The Home Depot Foundation improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families.

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:

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:

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.

Kyle received his smart home in June 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.

Kyle
Hockenberry

Army

Marietta, OH

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.

Bo received his smart home in November 2015.

Click here to view video coverage of Bo Reichenbach’s emotional homecoming ceremony in Billings, Montana.

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:

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:

David
Bixler

Army

Waldorf, MD

On September 30, 2010, David Bixler was on patrol in a heavily mined farmland in the Arghandab River Valley in Afghanistan. He was leading a team of three Afghan National Army Soldiers, when his unit was ambushed and heavy gunfire ensued. When David saw that one of the Afghan soldiers had veered toward uncleared ground, he ran after him and pushed him to safety. While doing so, David stepped on an improvised explosive device. He suffered the loss of both legs, damage to his spinal cord, traumatic brain injury, and other serious injuries. For his heroic action, David was awarded the Silver Star.

David, who is the proud father of a beautiful daughter Elaine, received a smart home in Waldorf, Maryland in the summer of 2016.

Click here to view video coverage of David Bixler’s homecoming ceremony.

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

David
Bixler

Army

Waldorf, MD

image description

Share His Story:

Stephen K.
Valyou

Army

Millerton, NY

After 9/11, Stephen Valyou 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 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. He enjoys helping out on his in-laws farm and hunting and fishing with his son. Stephen was welcomed to his new smart home in Millerton in the summer of 2016.

Click here to view video coverage of Stephen Valyou’s unique arrival at his homecoming ceremony.

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

Stephen K.
Valyou

Army

Millerton, NY

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.”

Michael received his smart home in October 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.

Michael
Schlitz

Army

Forston, GA

image description

Share His Story:

Timothy
Donley

Marine Corps

New Tripoli, 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

New Tripoli, PA

image description

Share His Story:

John
Peck

Marine Corps

Fredericksburg, VA

USMC Sgt. John Peck was awarded the Purple Heart on two occasions; first for serious injuries sustained in Iraq, and again when he was catastrophically wounded in Afghanistan. He suffered a traumatic brain injury when an IED exploded underneath his truck in Iraq in 2007, leaving him with a lengthy recovery period. Eventually well enough to return to the job he loved, John re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and found himself back in combat.

In the latter incident, in May of 2010, an IED explosion resulted in the loss of both of Sgt. Peck’s legs and one of his arms. Infection led to the amputation of his remaining arm, making him the third surviving quadruple-amputee from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In August of 2016, after two years on the waiting list, John underwent a 14-hour, double arm transplant surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is the second quadruple-amputee from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to get a double arm transplant.

Sgt. Peck, who received a smart home in November of 2012 in Fredericksburg, Va., aspires to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming a chef and to eventually own a restaurant.

Click here to learn more about John Peck’s remarkable journey, and to view his homecoming ceremony.

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:

Marcus
Burleson

Marine Corps

Texas

Marcus Burleson served three deployments in Iraq, Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Mark was serving as team leader for his EOD Company. On December 9, 2011, he and his team were on dismounted patrol when they encountered a suspicious area. Mark was able to locate and render safe the first improvised explosive device. As he was conducting a secondary sweep, he identified a second IED. While attempting to render the second device safe, the IED detonated as Mark was kneeling over it. As a result of the explosion, Mark suffered the loss of one arm and severe injuries that resulted in later amputation of the other arm. He also endured a broken neck and other bones, vision loss in his left eye, and other major injuries.

Mark enjoys giving back to the veteran community, engaging in public speaking and raising awareness for veterans.

Mark is the proud dad of three children: Marcus, Isaac and Ariel. He plans to have his smart home built in Texas.

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.

Marcus
Burleson

Marine Corps

Texas

image description

Share His Story:

Christopher
Walker

Army

Virginia

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

Virginia

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:

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:

Corey
Kent

Army

Cape Coral, FL

On July 10, 2010, just three weeks after arriving in Afghanistan, Army SGT Corey Kent stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol. As a result, he suffered the loss of both his legs and all fingers from his left hand. Since the incident, he has endured countless surgeries and procedures, and years of grueling physical therapy.

After nearly dying on the battlefield, Corey’s hope was to be able to return to and reside in his hometown of Cape Coral, Florida. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation made his dream become a reality by building him a smart home in Cape Coral.

Corey received his smart home on the September 11, 2016; the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. Click here to view a video recap of his incredible homecoming ceremony.

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

Corey
Kent

Army

Cape Coral, FL

image description

Share His Story:

Christopher
Levi

Army

Long Island, NY

On March 17, 2008, CPL Christopher Levi was severely injured when an improvised exploding device in Iraq hit the armored Humvee he was traveling in. CPL Levi was in the middle vehicle of a five-vehicle convoy. The blast cut through both of Levi’s legs at mid-thigh, leaving him a bilateral amputee. He also suffered significant damage to his right hand and arm. Prior to his deployment to Iraq, CPL Levi, who was certified as an Army Ranger, served in Afghanistan.

CPL Levi spent two and a half years in the hospital. His perseverance has been remarkable. In addition to passing the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam and pursuing his bachelor’s degree, CPL Levi volunteers and leads groups for The Center for Discovery, a national specialty center for the advanced care and treatment of children and adults with significant disabilities, and is a team leader and participant of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual Face of America ride.

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
Levi

Army

Long Island, NY

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:

Brendan
Marrocco

Army

Staten Island, NY

On April 12, 2009, Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco was at the wheel of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle when it sustained a direct hit from an Explosive Formed Projectile (EFP). The armor-piercing projectile punched through the middle of the driver’s side door.

The blast left Marrocco a quadruple-amputee, the first service member to survive after losing all four limbs in combat in Iraq. Among his other injuries were a severed carotid artery, burns to his neck and face, broken bones, and severe lacerations.

Brendan was the first smart home recipient of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. He received his home on Staten Island, NY in June of 2011.

In December of 2012, Brendan underwent 13 hours of miraculous double arm transplant surgery. The surgery connected the bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves, and skin on both arms, extending his left arm from the elbow and his right from below the shoulder.

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

Brendan
Marrocco

Army

Staten Island, NY

image description

Share His Story:

Tony
Porta

Marine Corps

Lovettsville, VA

Tony Porta, a native of Peru, had a lifelong dream to become a U.S. Marine. After graduating high school in 2005, he enlisted. On May 5, 2007, while serving in Al Asad, Iraq, the Humvee that Tony was driving struck an improvised explosive device (IED), severely burning him 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.

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

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

Tony received his smart home in July of 2015 in Lovettsville, VA.

Click here to view coverage of Tony’s homecoming.

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

Tony
Porta

Marine Corps

Lovettsville, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Travis
Worrell

Army

San Antonio, Texas

On May 5, 2012 Army SPC Travis Worrell, a combat medic with the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was severely injured when his unit was in a firefight in the Logar Province of Afghanistan. A rocket-propelled grenade exploded a few feet away from him. He took shrapnel to his neck, back, and shoulder, and sustained a C6/C7 spinal cord injury which left him a quadriplegic. He has no hand or leg function.

Travis will have a smart home constructed in San Antonio, Texas in 2017.

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
Worrell

Army

San Antonio, Texas

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:

Joshua
Stahl

Army

Canton, OH

Following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps, Joshua Stahl joined the Army in July of 2007. He served his first deployment in Iraq in 2008 and 2009, reenlisted for another five years, and was deployed to Afghanistan as the leader of a scout team. On July 9, 2011, the four-year anniversary of his enlistment, Joshua was on a mission to clear and secure an area. While attempting to clear a path, he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

As a result of the explosion, Joshua suffered the loss of both of his legs above the knee, amputation of his left index finger, a traumatic brain injury, and other serious injuries.

Joshua is a fan of video games, working out, wrestling, and the Dallas Cowboys.

Joshua and his wife, Truda, have five beautiful children and plan to live in Ohio.

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.

Joshua
Stahl

Army

Canton, OH

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 see how the technology in Doug Vitale’s smart home is making a significant difference in his life.

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:

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.”

Mark received his smart home in June 2015.

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

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:

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.

Rusty received his smart home in May 2015.

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:

Adam
Devine

Marine Corps

Nokesville, VA

On December 28, 2011, Adam Devine was on foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan when he stepped on a 7-10 pound pressure plate, causing an improvised explosive device to detonate. As a result of the explosion, Adam suffered bilateral amputations (above the knee), soft tissue damage to his right arm caused by shrapnel, a broken sacrum, and other injuries. He has endured over 55 surgeries throughout his recovery.

Adam and his wife have two beautiful children, Amya and Brayden. They plan to reside in Virginia.

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
Devine

Marine Corps

Nokesville, 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.

Bryan received his smart home on September 11, 2015.

Click here to watch a touching video that is highlighted by Bryan Dilberian being welcomed to his new smart home.

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:

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:

Larry
Bailey, II

Marine Corps

Sumerduck, 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

Sumerduck, VA

image description

Share His Story:

Anthony
Kenworthy

Army

New Tampa, FL

In July of 2014, Army SFC Anthony Kenworthy was severely wounded in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. He suffered a C-6 spinal cord injury and is a quadriplegic. SFC Kenworthy, who is originally from Michigan, will be receiving a smart home in North Carolina. The home is expected to be built in 2017.

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.

Anthony
Kenworthy

Army

New Tampa, FL

image description

Share His Story:

Kevin
Trimble

Army

Dallas, TX

SPC Kevin Trimble was wounded on September 18, 2011. 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

Dallas, TX

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.

Tom received his smart home in April 2016.

Click here to view video coverage of Tom McRae’s homecoming ceremony in Maple Hill, NC.

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:

Ben
Eberle

Army

Alpena, MI

On November 19, 2011, Army Staff Sergeant Ben Eberle and his unit, the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, were conducting route clearance patrol in Afghanistan when SSG Eberle dismounted and stepped on an IED.

The explosion resulted in Ben losing both legs above the knee, and his right hand. He also suffered a severe right shoulder injury. The medical expertise of a special forces’ soldier from the Czech Republic saved Ben’s life.

Ben, who is married and has two children, received smart home in Alpena, Michigan on June 14, 2016.

Having this specially adapted home is having a tremendous impact on SSG Eberle’s ability to be the all-around family man that he is, and is providing a far less stressful life for him and his family.

Click here to watch Ben Eberle’s patriotic welcome home ceremony.

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

Ben
Eberle

Army

Alpena, MI

image description

Share His Story:

Eric
Myers

Army

Linden, NC

On May 12, 2012, while on his third deployment to Afghanistan, Army Staff Sergeant Eric Myers, a field artilleryman with the 82nd Airborne Division, was seriously injured when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). SSG Myers, who had served in the Army for 10 years before being injured, lost both legs above the knee and one finger, and suffered other serious injuries including forearm nerve damage.

A smart home will be built for SSG Myers in SSG Myers in Linden, North Carolina. The home expected to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.

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.

Eric
Myers

Army

Linden, 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:

Andrew
Bottrell

Navy

California

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

California

image description

Share His Story:

Edward “Flip”
Klein

Army

Seattle, WA

A 2006 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Major Edward “Flip” Klein (Ret) was leading his company on a dismounted patrol 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, and significant damage to his remaining hand.

When asked about his rehabilitation, Flip said, “My family has been the rock of my recovery and has been incredibly supportive during every phase of my recovery”. Flip’s parents 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. He has 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:

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.

Travis received his smart home in October 2015.

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:

Timothy
Brown

Marine Corps

Virginia

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

Virginia

image description

Share His Story:

Thomas Caleb
Getscher

Marine Corps

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

Caleb received his smart home on June 7, 2016.

Click here to view video coverage of Caleb Getscher’s homecoming ceremony in Leonardtown, Md.

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

Leonardtown, 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.

John received his smart home in November 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.

John E.
Masson

Army

Southern Pines, NC

image description

Share His Story:

Matthew
Leyva

Army

Syracuse, NY

On August 9, 2011, Army SPC Matthew Leyva, of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, suffered a dismounted complex blast injury when he stepped on a pressure-plate improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. The blast caused injuries that resulted in the loss of both his legs, the loss of four of his fingers (his pinky and ring fingers from each hand), and a shattered left elbow.

SPC Leyva, who is from Central New York, would like to reside in Syracuse, NY.

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.

Matthew
Leyva

Army

Syracuse, NY

About the Foundation

The Siller Family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001. The goal of the Foundation is to continue Stephen’s legacy through its programs that support our nation’s first responders and catastrophically injured service members.

On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift, and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when word of the first plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center came over his scanner. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later, and returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he and 342 FDNY brothers gave up their lives while saving others. He left behind his wife and five children.

In 2011, the Foundation officially began Building for America’s Bravest, a program that raises funds to build custom designed, specially adapted homes for the most catastrophically injured American service members. The first home was built for Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco, the first quadruple amputee to survive any war. Through October of 2016, 56 smart homes have either been completed, are under construction, or are in the design stage. The Foundation has set a goal to build a minimum of 200 smart homes throughout the country.

About our Smart Homes

The needs of every catastrophically injured service member are unique. A smart home from our Building for America’s Bravest program is designed and constructed to meet the specific needs of its recipients. Smart homes features include, but are not limited to, automated doors and lighting, wide doorways and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered, and central heating and air conditioning systems that can be controlled by tablets.

Through your donations, the Building for America’s Bravest program helps 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. In addition, if you’re able to donate time and talent, we’re always looking for volunteers for events held around the country. If your corporation is interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please email partners@tunnel2towers.org

Share

& Blake Shelton

Thanks for your interest in the Building For America’s Bravest program and your help in the building of Smart Homes for our most catastrophically injured service members returning home. Together, we can help our most severely injured heroes, like Rusty Dunagan of Guthrie, OK and Christian Brown of Munford, TN live better, more independent lives.

These heroes 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.

Close