In early May, country music legend and Grammy Award winner Lee Greenwood presided over the ribbon-cutting at home plate and the dedication of the Rocket City Trash Pandas’ baseball diamond at Toyota Field.

Behind the scenes, a friendship and a partnership were born. Greenwood is an advisor to Helping a Hero, a 501(c)(3) organization that awards newly built homes to the country’s most severely Wounded Warriors.

Louis and Patti Breland of Huntsville’s Breland Companies, whose vision for Town Madison and the redevelopment of Clift Farm have made it a reality, struck up a partnership with Greenwood and Helping a Hero to build a home here in Madison County for just such a wounded warrior candidate.

On Oct. 12, Greenwood will appear at the Von Braun Center with 40 country music stars who will perform songs from his more than 40 years of discography. At the opening of the show, An All-Star Salute to Lee Greenwood, the country music icon along and Breland will formally announce the Wounded Warrior recipient of a free and newly built home.

“Helping a Hero has built and given away over 200 homes in the past 10 years,” said Greenwood. “I believe the recipient has already been chosen for the Huntsville area, but it will be a surprise when it is announced in October.”

“We started talking and when the Louis and Patti found out about the show in October, and the work Helping a Hero is doing for our wounded warriors, they wanted to be involved.

“They are wonderful people, and I am very grateful for their generous offer to build a home for a deserving warrior here in the Huntsville-Madison area.”

Louis Breland (Photo/Steve Babin)

Breland said he jumped at the chance to build a home for a deserving veteran.

“Our nation’s military and the heroes that fought for our country have a special place in our hearts and we are always looking for opportunities to honor and support them,” said Breland. “I can’t think of a better way to do this than to build a home for a wounded warrior in our community.”

“Most of the time, we find a contractor in the city where a Wounded Warrior wants to live, who will like Louis, donate their time to build it,” said Greenwood. “They then find subcontractors who will also donate their time. Then we find 100 volunteers.

“We are talking about building homes that are upward of $400,000 to $500,000, so it is an extreme commitment,” said Greenwood. “We can build a home within six months and, most of the time, furnish it with free appliances and furniture, plus a year’s worth of electrical and telephone service.

“The whole community gets involved from the groundbreaking to the time we hand them the keys to the house, including the police, fire and National Guard, the mayor and governor are there to support this soldier.”