A CT Community Honored a Returning Army Vet By Building Her a Dream House
Homeownership has long been a marker of a stable, happy life for adults in America. Among those most in need of such stability? Military veterans, some of whom struggle mightily with re-assimilating into daily life after returning from deployments.
Dale Beatty and John Gallina are friends and veterans who connected the dots between the needs of veterans returning from abroad and the happiness that comes with owning a home, thanks to personal experiences. Dale recalls the strong desire he felt to own a home, and the satisfaction he felt once he and John worked together to build it, and how that led the friends to an epiphany: "We stepped back and said, hey, we can do this for other veterans, wherever."
Together, Dale and John founded a non-profit called Purple Heart Homes, which helps purchase and renovate homes specifically for military veterans.
One of the veterans that Purple Heart Homes has helped is Sandra Lee. In 8 years of work as a Staff Sargent in the Army, Sandra was exposed to multiple IEDs, and she came home with a condition called post-concussive disorder.
"It was hard to adjust to normal life," Sandra recalls of the early days following her return from Iraq. "It was hard to relate to people."
Fortunately, Sandra met two of the right people: Dale and John. For Sandra, Purple Heart Homes purchased a house in foreclosure; then the community of Manchester, CT pitched in to perform the demolition and remodeling, a way of rewarding Sandra for her service by building her the house of her dreams. And the result is more than just a house for this brave Army veteran.
"This project, and the kind of support that has come out of it, has renewed my faith in humanity," Sandra says.
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