'Helping A Hero' Donates Homes to Wounded Soldiers
(January 27, 2009)
US Army Spc. Sergio Trejo and his family
stand outside their new home in Houston. The
Helping a Hero troop support group presented
the home to the family, December 2008.
|WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2009
Army Spc. Sergio Trejo always dreamed of
owning his own home.
But after he was injured by a homemade bomb
during his second tour of duty in Iraq, he said
he felt his dream was out of reach. The
explosion left him with a broken back, traumatic
brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“My [Veterans Affairs] counselor was helping me
look for a home,” Trejo said. “It was, at times,
overwhelming. She told me to look into the
‘Helping A Hero' program and fill out the
application. After several weeks I finally did,
and today, my family and I are enjoying our new
Helping A Hero is a troop-support group dedicated to
providing an array of support, including financial and
emotional, to severely injured military personnel and their
families, according to the group's Web site. Its ‘Wounded
Hero Home' program provides specially adapted homes to
wounded warriors, with 11 homes donated to wounded
servicemembers and veterans last year, officials said.
Trejo, his wife, Jessica, and children, Trinity and David,
received the keys to their new home last month in the Delany
Cove community of Houston.
Working in partnership with Helping a Hero, Friendswood
Development Company donated the home site.
“We were honored to present the keys to this new home to a
deserving American hero and say thank you in a tangible way
for his valiant service to our great nation,” Meredith Iler,
national chairman of the Helping a Hero home program, said.
“This beautiful new home will enable this wounded hero to
build a new life.”
The new home offered Trejo a fresh start since the long-term
effects of TBI and PTSD, accompanied by his short-term
memory problems, left Trejo unable to work.
“If it wasn't for Helping Hero, we would probably still be
in an apartment,” Trejo said. “This has allowed me to focus
more on getting better.”
By providing specially adapted homes to qualifying wounded
military members and veterans, Helping Hero leaders hope to
equip them with the foundation they need to transition
successfully into their local communities.
“I am so proud of Sergio Trejo for his bravery in combat and
his courage in the rehabilitation process,” Iler said. “He
is a leader and an encourager to other wounded heroes who
have just begun their journey of recovery.”
The average value of each home donated by Helping a Hero is
about $250,000. Iler said the current housing crisis has not
affected the groups' ability to secure donations and
“We have been blessed to bring together patriotic Americans
who are builders, developers, individual and foundation
donors who are committed to saying ‘thank you' to our
wounded heroes in a tangible way,” Iler said.
Trejo said he is thankful for the program.
“I feel extremely blessed,” Trejo said. “Just the other
night, my wife and I were sitting, looking around the house,
still not believing it is ours. We could have never
purchased a house like this on our own. It's just a dream
By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service
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