U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Mark Shrewsbury joined the armed forces in 1997 because he wanted to obtain a better sense of discipline and to expose himself to new cultures and experiences. He has served his country for 20 years.
December 8, 2016 was a milestone day in the history of Building Homes for Heroes -- the nonprofit organization gifted its 100th home to Army Staff Sergeant Sharon Clark in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Volunteers and supporters congregated in the afternoon to decorate the home for the holidays, and the house was gifted to Staff Sergeant Clark in a ceremony later in the day.
Army Staff Sergeant Juanika Cann, who served more than 20 years in the military, received a mortgage-free home courtesy of Building Homes for Heroes and Chase Bank on Friday, Dec. 2 in LaPlace, Louisiana.
Staff Sergeant Cann, an Iraq War veteran and single mother of four, endured many life-threatening and horrifying experiences throughout her two decades of service, including exposure to machine gun fire while serving overseas. She has suffered through many physical and psychological wounds, including spine and ankle injuries, and severe PTSD.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared Kauffroath joined the military to gain new experiences, and because he wanted to serve with his best friend, who also enlisted.
Lance Corporal Kauffroath was near his command post at a forward operating base in Iraq when he heard loud explosions in late August of 2004. He initially thought it was an artillery shooting, but soon discovered it was an enemy mortar attack.
Army Staff Sergeant Dennis Hollimon enlisted in the Army in 2000 out of Jacksonville, Florida because he wanted to serve and protect his country while creating a better future for himself.
It was in 2009 when Staff Sergeant Hollimon was traveling on a mission when his convoy was ambushed by gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He took a direct hit that removed his left arm, and would later require a full amputation. He also suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Matheson was inspired to join the military following the September 11 terrorist attacks. His daughter celebrated her first birthday the following February and he went to the recruiter’s office the next day. He started basic training in May of 2002, continuing a long family tradition of service.
Sergeant Benjamin Decker enlisted in the Army for multiple reasons; a show of patriotism, as a way to support his family, and to follow a line of family members who served in the military. He joined in Salem, New Hampshire in 1998 and served through 2010.
Sergeant Decker served in Iraq for a 16-month period (2007-2008) during the surge. He was in close proximity to numerous IED blasts and rocket attacks. Sergeant Decker, a chaplain's assistant with 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, served as a bodyguard for the chaplain.
It is with great honor and holiday spirit that Building Homes for Heroes announces the following home giftings across the country during the time frame of Nov. 16 to Nov. 21:
• U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal William Ventura – Nov. 16 in Selden, New York
• U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Arnaldo Silva – Nov. 16 in Leesburg, Florida
• U.S. Army Specialist Alberto Diaz – Nov. 19 in Orange Park, Florida
• U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared Kauffroath – Nov. 19 in Gilbert, Arizona