ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — After more than twenty years of service, U.S. Army veteran Sergeant First Class Scott Barkalow along with his wife Tina were presented with a brand new Breland home.

Barkalow has the first of the two Breland homes being built in North Alabama, in partnership with Bass Pro shop, non-profit organization Helping a Hero, as well as dozens of other sponsors.

Throughout many nominated veterans, the non-profit came down to just two recipients and left the company in a stalemate on who should receive the life-changing opportunity. However, Patti Breland thought otherwise, two is better than one.

After being nominated by a friend he met just one time 18 years ago, Barkalow now has a fully adapted, wheelchair-accessible home, one he can only describe as “a gift from God.”

During the unveiling at the Nature’s Cove community, Barkalow was described by close ones as the “epitome of a special forces soldier.” Along with several heart-warming testimonies from ones close to the family, the Barkalows were also serenaded by Grammy award-winning artist Lee Greenwood.

After touring the newly built home, Barkalow had a tough time mincing words. As the Purple Heart medal recipient finally found the words Barkalow conveyed the moment as “overwhelming.”

“I prayed. Not for this, but for what God gave me. Its’ overwhelming in the best possible way. Humbled, excited, and just giving the glory to God, and trusting in his son.”


In 1984, Barkalow joined the Army. He would then spend the next 20 years in the National Guard. In 2003 he suffered a severe injury while deployed in Afghanistan, so severe it would cost him his leg in an explosion caused by an anti-tank mine.

The Helping a Hero organization is a non-profit dedicated to supporting retired veterans who were injured while serving. Founded in 2006, the company prides itself on providing specially adapted homes for qualifying service members through partnerships made with builders, developers, communities, and of course, the veterans.

The Barkalows plan on celebrating the new residence with close family and friends in October.

If you want to nominate a hero, visit helpingahero.org.