US VETERANS CORPS OPERATION: COMING HOME
Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources is excited to announce
that our Parade Grand Marshals are representatives from the
US Veteran Corps initiative - Operation: Coming Home.
Through this wonderful nonprofit, wounded veterans are provided custom built homes, giving them the chance to fulfill the
American dream of home ownership.
We are proud to welcome such a hard working and
generous organization to this year's parade!
US Veteran Corps Mission
The USVC is a Corps of military Veterans, spouses, dependents and patriotic citizens performing “Hands On” community service with a mission/deployment attitude! Their Mission: To participate in community service projects & events in the military & civilian community.
The idea for the US Veterans Corps was inspired by the experiences that Ft. Bragg & Camp Lejeune Veterans had while volunteering for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Operation: Coming Home.
Operation: Coming Home was a project where the members of the Home Builders Association (HBA) built and donated a brand new Hero Home for a disabled combat veteran. The US Veterans Corps Team produced and directed the Operation: Coming Home Key Ceremony Event for the HBA. When the keys were delivered and the event ended, there was a strong urge from these Veterans to continue the mission. Thus the US Veterans Corps (link: http://myusvc.com/index.html) was created.
Today they have volunteers from every US Military Branch, Military Spouses, Military BRATS, ROTC, Patriotic Citizens, Foreign Allied Military, and a Parachute and Rappel Team.
Operation: Coming Home
Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF – Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF – Afghanistan), over 35,000 men and women have been wounded in combat. About half of those were so severely wounded they were not returned to duty. Many of the wounded sustained injuries such as gunshot wounds, permanent loss of limbs, paralysis and severe neck and head trauma. These men and women will forever bear the scars of protecting our way of life and the freedom we enjoy.
In 2007 a group of local veterans called Triangle Real Estate & Construction Veterans (TREACV) and members from the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County decided to create a project for these severely wounded veterans. The mission of this project is to aid a local military service member who were severely wounded in combat, by fulfilling his/her family desire to live the American Dream of home ownership—thus the creation of Operation: Coming Home (OCH).
In 2008, Operation: Coming Home enlisted the help of Royal Oaks Building Group, Atreus Homes, and Gaines and Company to build a new home for SGT Joey Bozik, a wounded soldier of the 16th Military Police, who lost both legs and one arm in Iraq when his Humvee hit a road side bomb. OCH provided SGT Bozik with a home that was customized to meet his precise needs due to his combat injuries. It was equipped with zero threshold floors, wider doorways, custom shower, special ramps, sprinkler system, and a custom kitchen with appliances set to accommodate someone in a wheelchair. The home, its customized features have enabled Joey and his young family a way to live a more normal life even with his injuries.
Operation: Coming Home started with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 30, 2008 in the Southern Oaks subdivision of Fuquay-Varina, NC where Gaines and Company had donated a lot to build this soldiers home.
This program has been a huge success only because many caring organizations and individuals who willingly contribute their time, effort and finances to show their heartfelt thanks to our local veterans who gave their all to protect our American way of life—a freedom seldom experienced throughout the rest of the world!
OCH and the rest of the American population owe a huge debt of gratitude to our military forces! There is no better way to exemplify that than by all of us participating in perpetuating Operation: Coming Home by giving other American Heroes a completely free home of their own.
The Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake county and TREACV continue to select new recipients. They continue to rely on the donations and sponsorships of individuals and companies as well as labor and supplies to continue making this program the great success that it is. This becomes their way to contribute as much as they possibly can—for our heroes who have done the same for us.