Galloway speaks at Homes for Our Troops event
Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
HOOVER—For many wounded veterans, the battle is not over after returning home. In addition to the recovery process, they must adjust to civilian life with their injuries. Homes for Our Troops helps ease this transition by constructing specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for disabled post-9/11 veterans and their families.
On Sept. 28, the Tauton, Mass., based nonprofit hosted the first Hometown Heroes Celebration at the Hoover Met, featuring several local veterans including Alabaster resident, Noah Galloway.
“This is a totally different event for us,” Catherine MacDonald with HFOT said. “We really wanted to raise the awareness, not many people know what we are and what we do because we don’t spend money on advertising.”
Founded in 2004, HFOT has constructed nearly 200 mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans across the nation. The organization is currently constructing several homes in the Birmingham area, including one for Galloway.
“At Homes for Our Troops, we do not believe gifting (mortgage-free homes to wounded soldiers) is charity,” HFOT President and CEO Timothy McHale said. “It is a moral obligation of our society to take care of the men and women who have taken care of us.”
Members of the Hoover community pitched in to support the event. Volunteers from Hoover High School welcomed guests and staffed booths, nine Birmingham-area radio stations provided free advertising, Texas Roadhouse donated the evening’s food and Hoover opened the Met for the event.
“Hoover has been amazing, they donated the space,” MacDonald said. “The time and the food were completely donated… the community of Hoover has been incredible.”
Several veterans and family members spoke about the impact HFOT made on their lives.
“In my eyes, Homes for Our Troops ranks at the top when it comes to positively changing the life of a (wounded veteran),” Marine Capt. Cameron West said.
West was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2010 when an improvised explosive device blast took his right leg, damaged his right hand and left him without vision in his right eye. West, his wife and his daughter will receive an adapted home from HFOT in December.
Galloway discussed the importance of an accessible home for his family. Although he turned down the offer when first approached by HFOT, Galloway said there are many challenges that come with living with his injuries at home.
“People don’t realize what it’s like when you’re home and that door is closed to the rest of the world,” Galloway said, noting his apartment is not wheelchair accessible.
Galloway received the key to his adapted home before the Hometown Heroes Celebration on Sept. 28.
“It was such an incredible moment,” Galloway recalled.
Galloway announced he added HFOT to the list of organizations his No Excuses Charitable Fund benefits.
For more information about HFOT, visit Hfotusa.org.