By Mike Perleberg
Brett and London Bondurant will receive a new home from the national organization Homes for Our Troops. The public groundbreaking on the home - to be given to the Bondurants free of cost - will take place Saturday, September 7.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Army Specialist Brett Bondurant was just five months into his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2011 when an improvised explosive device claimed the lower portions of each of his legs.
What the blast didn’t take, however, was Bondurant’s desire to live life just as he would with legs. The 23-year-old Lawrenceburg High School graduate now walks and runs on prosthetics and enjoys riding motorcycles. During rehabilitation, he married his high school sweetheart, London, and they welcomed a daughter into the world in August.
But, there are daily physical challenges for the Army veteran to overcome not only in public, but in his home. Most houses or apartments aren’t built for wheelchairs.
“As an injured veteran, it is hard to stay positive at times, especially since I am faced with many challenges on a daily basis, even in my own home,” Bondurant said.
Enter the organization Homes for Our Troops. The national non-profit has committed to building Brett and his young family a new specially-adapted home in Lawrenceburg. Best of all, the home is being built and given to the family free of cost.
“Not many people understand what a struggle it is to roll a wheelchair over carpet, or if he’s on his prosthetics how they get caught on door jams,” said Homes for Our Troops Executive Director Dawn Teixeira. “The homes that we build have roll under sinks and appliances, so everywhere in the home it’s possible that he can be independent.”
Homes for Our Troops has assisted severely combat-injured American veterans by raising money and coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. An eligible veteran can receive a Veterans Administration Specially Adapted Housing Grant up to almost $65,000, but Homes for Our Troops will cover all costs over the grant amount.
Teixeira says about 1,700 veterans in the U.S. are so severely injured that they could use a home like those Homes for Our Troops builds. Brett is thankful the organization chose him for one of the 135 homes donated since 2004 and 40 others currently under construction nationwide.
“Having an accessible home built to meet my specific needs will erase some of those challenges, giving me back my independence and also giving much more hope for me and for my family’s future,” he said.
Brett and London began interviewing with Homes for Our Troops about a year ago, Teixeira said. It was quickly apparent the organization had a couple worthy of the home.
“Before they have even received anything, they are happy to go around and talk about Homes for Our Troops at events all across the country. Brett is just one of those guys who wants to give back,” she said.
Homes for Our Troops will mark the start of construction on the Bondurants’ home during a public groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. The site is located at Lot #17, Crossbow Trails Lane in Lawrenceburg, just off State Road 48 after Clinic Drive. Those attending are encouraged to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’ll hear from Brett and we’ll break ground. Brett will actually get to throw the first shovel full of dirt,” said Teixeira.
The groundbreaking will be following by a Hero’s Lunch donated by Famous Dave’s in Florence. Donations to pay for each plate will be put towards the Bondurants’ new home.
In a few months there will be a volunteer day where the community is invited out to help with landscaping and finishing touches on the Bondurants’ new dwelling.
Updates on Homes for Our Troops’ Bondurant project can be found at http://www.hfotusa.org/bondurant or on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Build-a-Home-for-SPC-Brett-Bondurant/145313085634206.