HELPING A HERO: Group breaks ground on home for veteran

By C.P. Bailey The News Courier
Nov 17, 2021

SFC Scott Barkalow and Lee Greenwood stand with students from Lindsay Lane Christian Academy at the Wednesday morning, Nov. 17, groundbreaking ceremony for the home Helping a Hero is building for Barkalow.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning, Nov. 17, at Nature’s Cove West Subdivision for a new home being built for Retired Army Sergeant First Class Scott Barkalow. The new four bedroom/three bathroom house is being provided by Helping a Hero in partnership with music legend Lee Greenwood. The house will be constructed by Breland Homes.

SFC Scott Barkalow was joined by his wife Tina, Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks, representatives from Helping a Hero, the owners and President of Breland Homes, students from Lindsey Lane Christian Academy (LLCA) and Lee Greenwood. The students from LLCA held flags high as Greenwood performed the song that made him famous — “God Bless the USA.”

Greenwood thanked all those who came together to make the home a possibility. He added, “We are so thankful that Scott has a second chance here. It will be done soon and I want you to come back when this house is built and I will be here as well.”

Nominated by a friend, without his knowledge, to be considered for a home, Barkalow said the “key to the story” was how he learned of being selected. He explained. “That morning, the Assistant Secretary of the Army came to my door and I wasn’t even suppose to be there. I was just picking up a laptop. It was God’s intervention.”

He was asked to attend a luncheon and a concert. After the luncheon and returning to work, Barkalow considered not attending the concert but was urged to reconsider. He and Tina went to The All Star Salute to Lee Greenwood on October 12 where he learned that they had been selected to receive one of two new homes being built by Breland Homes.

Sgt. Barkalow currently works on Redstone Arsenal and said of calling Athens home soon, “We are excited. We currently live in Tennessee and its a two hour drive so coming in here makes it a lot easier.”

Helping a Hero is dedicated to providing homes to service members who were severely injured during the War on Terror. Barkalow lost his right leg on February 19, 2003 in Afghanistan when the truck he was riding in hit a mine. The new home is being customized to meet his specific needs including wider doors, wheelchair accessible shower and other safety features. Breland Home president Wes Alford said of the expected completion, “As long as they are happy with the plans, we are on to the permit stage and from there I would think it should be about five to six months.”