Helping a Hero, a non-profit providing support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror, Bass Pro Shops and Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, broke ground on a wheelchair-accessible home for U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Strong (Ret.). The home will be located in Lennar’s Caraway community in Haslet, TX, north of Fort Worth.
Hundreds of people lined the streets waving American flags and holding handmade signs cheering “Welcome Home, SSG Strong.” Strong was greeted by special guests Helping a Hero Home Program founder Meredith Iler; Tate Stevens, an American country music artist and National Ambassador for Helping a Hero; and Greg Mayberry, Dallas Division President for Lennar.
The groundbreaking was part of Helping a Hero’s 100 Homes Challenge, which was launched by Johnny Morris, Founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. Lennar has joined the effort and committed to building 10 homes for Helping a Hero as part of the 100 Homes Challenge. Homes by Lennar are being planned in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Colorado – with more homes to be added.
Lennar worked with Helping a Hero to adapt the new home – a Next Gen model aptly named “The Freedom.” The two-story home features straight stairs that Strong will be able to use for his daily workout. It includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an adapted guest suite in the Next Gen area where he can host veterans and other guests he trains for adaptive sports.
“I am looking forward to moving into my new Helping a Hero home and am so grateful to Helping a Hero, Bass Pro Shops and Lennar for giving me the freedom inside my home by having it custom adapted for me,” said Strong.
“Staff Sergeant Strong is a servant leader who has never had an adapted home,” said Iler. “Helping a Hero is thrilled to partner with Lennar to design a wheelchair accessible home for Travis – complete with wider doors and hallways, an adapted bathroom and other safety features to insure he has freedom inside his home.”
“Giving back to the communities in which we build is a core value at Lennar and on behalf of our entire Dallas Division, we are honored that Travis chose a Lennar home,” said Mayberry. “Our team is happy to commit our time and resources to create an exceptional home for an extremely deserving American hero.”
Strong grew up in Los Angeles with a passion for speed and adventure, played football, raced dirt bikes and even competed in mixed martial arts fighting (open class level). In 1997, he joined the U.S. Army for the first time and then re-enlisted with the First Stryker Brigade following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
During his second deployment to Iraq in 2006, Strong’s unit was on night patrol when a powerful bomb engulfed the vehicle. As Strong began his long road to recovery, he went through every emotion: anger, sadness, depression and despair. Strong encourages others to overcome adversity and believes in paying pay it forward. He teaches and trains others with disabilities to complete in adaptive sports at the Adaptive Training Foundation. He skis, completed three marathons on handbikes, competes in Spartan races, and every day commits to live the best life he can.
About Helping A Hero:
Texas-based Helping a Hero is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization providing support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror. Our principal activity is to provide specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engage the community to provide services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families. Home recipients include veterans whose permanent injuries from combat have left them paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees, blind, with severe burns and other injuries. Helping A Hero provides additional support programs including marriage retreats, caregiver retreats, recreational activities, and emergency needs support. Helping a Hero Outdoors has expanded to serve our heroes through hunting and fishing outings.
About the 100 Homes Challenge:
Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops and noted conservationist, launched the 100 Homes Challenge and committed to fund 25 percent of the cost of the next 100 Helping a Hero homes. Helping a Hero invites the public to join Johnny Morris in the 100 Homes Challenge by making a donation, however large or small, to help to fund the other 75 percent of the cost of these homes.
Helping A Hero is accepting applications from Post 9-11 wounded warriors needing a specially adapted home due to their combat injuries to become part of the 100 Homes Challenge. We also invite the public to Nominate a Hero. Both the home application and the Nominate a Hero form are available on our website at www.helpingahero.org.
About Lennar Corporation
Lennar Corporation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. Lennar builds affordable, move-up and active adult homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. Lennar’s Financial Services segment provides mortgage financing, title and closing services primarily for buyers of Lennar’s homes and, through LMF Commercial, originates mortgage loans secured primarily by commercial real estate properties throughout the United States. Lennar’s Multifamily segment is a nationwide developer of high-quality multifamily rental properties. LENX drives Lennar’s technology, innovation and strategic investments.