TAHLEQUAH, Okla., March 17, 2015 – On March 24, Mayor Jason Nichols, the Cherokee Nation, and Oklahoma State Senator (Retired) Jim Wilson will join Helping A Hero and Tulsa-based Parker Built Homes as they break ground on a customized adapted home for wounded warrior SPC (Ret.) Aaron Estes at 22288 Stick Ross Mountain Road, Tahlequah, OK 74464. Post-9/11 veteran, Estes, is a member of the Tahlequah community with a story that has never been told.
This is the organization's first adapted home to be built in Oklahoma, and the community is rallying behind their Hero though donated and discounted labor, funds, and materials to make the project possible. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this patriotic event.
The home isn’t free. Helping A Hero homes are typically valued at $250,000-$300,000 and, unlike similar organizations, are provided to veterans for a mortgage of about $50,000 and a commitment to reside in the home for at least 10 years.
"We want to empower our Heroes," states retired Army Colonel and Helping A Hero Executive Director, Jeff Ragland. "We don't want to give them a handout; we want to give them a hand up."
During his deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, SGT (Ret.) Estes was performing a routine foot patrol. A 40-pound roadside bomb detonated and produced a blast radius equivalent to that of an 80-pound bomb. Estes sustained severe shrapnel wounds, traumatic brain injury, loss of vision in one eye, blown ear drums with inner ear damage, and multiple fractures.
After undergoing several surgeries, limb salvage procedures, and physical therapy, he now lives with vision and hearing loss, short term memory loss, and is able to walk using his IDEO leg brace. The Estes family, now adjusting to a “new normal,” require a home that will provide sanctuary instead of stress.
About Helping A Hero
Helping A Hero is guided by the motto “Empowering Wounded Heroes, One Home at a Time.” The Houston-based organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides specially adapted homes for severely wounded post 9/11 veterans. Through the generosity of patriots across the nation, Helping A Hero has awarded over 100 homes in 22 states since 2006. These adapted homes promote transition from military to civilian life and allow wounded veterans to regain some of their lost independence.
Learn more about Helping A Hero at www.HelpingAHero.org. To make a difference in the lives of Heroes like SPC (Ret.) Estes, go to www.HelpingAHero.org/Donate. Follow the organization on Twitter, @HelpingAHero, and Facebook, www.facebook.com/HelpingAHero.
Media Contact: Nathalie Cras