Note: This is a sponsored post for The Home Depot Foundation. Every thought, opinion, and experience is 100% my own.
Many of you know that my husband, Adam, is a veteran. Shortly after we married he joined the Army and served for six years. We were stationed at Fort Drum, NY the entire time. He fought in two wars, spending a year in Afghanistan and a year in Iraq. Fortunately he came home to me in one piece and the same as when he left, but not everyone is so lucky. During his enlistment I cried my way through deployment ceremonies and homecomings. I’ve sat horrified in front of the news as they stated another helicopter had crashed. I’ve had nightmares about two uniformed men showing up at my door and telling me I’ll never see my husband again. One of my best friends lived that nightmare in October 2009. We owe a lot to our veterans.
Each year Home Depot (aka my second home) serves those who have served us. For two months, between 9/11 and Veterans Day, they set out to renovate the homes of disabled veterans. The goal is to renovate 1,000 homes each year…though this year they said they have actually completed over 2,400! Home Depot has pledged $80 million dollars over a five year period to helping vets, and all the work is done by volunteers (Home Depot associates that volunteer to help on their days off). A few weeks ago Team Depot e-mailed me to say there was a renovation here in San Antonio and asked if I would come out and see what it’s all about.
Adam happened to have Veterans Day off, so we both went. The work was happening at the home of John Hyland, an Army veteran that was wounded in Iraq when his vehicle was struck by an IED. He suffered multiple injuries, including the loss of one of his legs. Future surgeries will likely confine him to a wheelchair, something his house wasn’t equipped to handle.
It was a whirlwind of a day. There were a ton of people there and lots of projects were happening all at once. News reporters and journalists came and went all day. Oh and it was cold. Not like, actual cold, but when it’s in the 40’s in San Antonio we locals are basically popsicles.
A majority of the work happened outside, in the backyard. The back patio was previously made of gravel and not ideal for prosthetics or a wheelchair, that was made into a solid concrete patio.
John’s two sons were right in there too, his younger son was king of the hose and his older one was a concrete mixing fool.
Another one of the big outdoor projects was making the garage wheelchair accessible. They cut out and added a completely new garage entry door and added a ramp from there to the back patio and door. Somehow I failed to get an overall shot of the ramp (it was a huge ramp!), probably because I was so distracted by a few of the volunteers amazing Home Depot pajama pants.
The master bedroom had recently been moved downstairs for easy access to the heart of the home, it was given a fresh coat of paint and the bathroom was being given a complete overhaul…new ADA compliant (Handicap Accessible) shower, toilet, vanity, and fixtures, as well as new tile and paint. I don’t have beautiful after pictures to show you of the bathroom, because they ran into a slight issue.
And by slight, I obviously mean a giant issue with the foundation. Oh remodeling…always full of surprises. Here is the rest of the before bathroom, combined with a dirty mirror selfie/belly pic.
The media came and went all day, including two news crews and a newspaper reporter (who had the craziest handwriting I’ve ever seen). Here is John being interview on live TV. LIVE! He’s braver than I am.
Here is John’s wife, Erica, and his three children adding a personal touch to the new patio…
The day finished up with a closing ceremony and you could truly see how passionate all the volunteers were about helping veterans.
Before this event I had no idea how much Home Depot puts back into the community. I think it’s truly amazing and am so glad I got to experience the dedication first hand. Giving back is so important and Team Depot is doing it in a big way. I love it! Plus now I feel a little better about all the money I spend at Home Depot each month.
* The Home Depot Foundation partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service program. As part of this program I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say in these posts. The Home Depot Foundation believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot Foundation’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.