Homes for Our Troops going strong in Elbert County

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Homes for Our Troops, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization, continues to be very active in Elbert County, building — and then donating — homes to disabled military veterans and their families.

The group is currently finishing up construction work on its fifth home in the Wildpoint Ranches subdivision just west of Elizabeth. That home, when completed later this year, will be given to retired Sgt. Matt Parker and his wife and daughter.

Parker, a U.S. Army veteran from Colorado, was severely injured while serving overseas.

Homes for Our Troops has also built and donated several homes in Elkhorn Ranch in the northwest corner of the county.

The new homes, valued in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, are built using donations of money and materials from the private sector as well as workers from area construction companies and local volunteers.

Homes for Our Troops was founded in 2004.

According to its website, the organization is “strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious injuries since September 11, 2001.”

The group assists severely disabled veterans and their families by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability for the disabled veteran to live more independently.

Volunteer coordinators are in charge of each build.

Homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at no cost to the veterans. An eligible veteran or service member may receive a Veterans Administration Specially Adapted Housing Grant of up to $64,960. Homes for Our Troops' assistance covers all costs over and above this grant.

County Commissioner Kurt Schlegel has represented the county at several ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the donated homes. The retired Marine has also pitched in himself, doing construction and landscaping work on a few of the homes.

“This is a tremendous organization,” said Schlegel. “These veterans, who have served their country with honor, are disabled and in many cases have lost limbs or are paralyzed. Getting them into these homes is a way to make their lives a little easier so they and their families can live more stress-free and productive lives.”

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