The national nonprofit organization Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) kicked off the building of a specially adapted custom home for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph “Blake” DeLoach on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Cornerstone Fellowship Church in The Acreage.
DeLoach was injured while serving in Afghanistan. On Oct. 18, 2010, the career he enjoyed came to an abrupt end during his second deployment. While on a mission in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) struck DeLoach’s vehicle. He lost his sight as a result of the blast.
Blake was medically retired and now spends time with his wife Lauren. He has since learned to play the guitar and earned a scuba license.
The community kickoff event signified the start of the building process and introduced DeLoach to the community.
The home being built for DeLoach will feature more than 40 major special adaptations, such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops.
The home will also alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or over thresholds, or reaching for cabinets that are too high.
HFOT has built 322 homes since the organization’s inception in 2004. Homes For Our Troops relies on contributions from donors, supporters and corporate partners for the building of each injured veteran’s home. Community members may also hold fundraisers or make donations.
To learn more about DeLoach’s story and watch his video, visit www.hfotusa.org/deloach.
PHOTOS BY ERIN DAVISSON