Helping a Hero, a non-profit providing support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror, Capital One, Bass Pro Shops, and Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, broke ground today on a wheelchair-accessible home for Staff Sergeant (Ret) Brent Bretz, USA (Ret). The home will be located in Lennar’s Warner Meadow community in Gilbert, AZ. The Groundbreaking Ceremony featured a parade led by the Patriot Guard Riders while hundreds of people lined the streets waving American flags and holding handmade signs cheering “Welcome Home, SSG Bretz.” The event featured special guests Todd Heap, NFL Alum and Two Time Pro Bowl TE; Helping a Hero Home Program founder Meredith Iler; and Helping a Hero recipient and double amputee SSG Travis Strong, USA (Ret) and Tate Stevens an American country music artist and National Ambassador for Helping a Hero.
Helping a Hero and country music icon and National Ambassador Lee Greenwood partnered with Bass Pro Shops and Capital One to surprise Brent at the Grand Ole Opry last Fall with the news he would receive an adapted home through the organization’s 100 Homes Challenge launched by Johnny Morris, Founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. Lennar has joined the effort and has committed to building ten homes for Helping a Hero as part of the 100 Homes Challenge. Homes by Lennar are being planned in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Colorado with more homes to be added.
Lennar and has worked with Helping a Hero to adapt the Trillium floorplan which is one of Lennar’s most popular Next Gen ® home designs. The 2,612-square-foot adapted home will be wheelchair accessible and have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The Next Gen suite will feature one bedroom with a private bathroom, a living room and kitchen with a single car attached garage.
“Since being injured, I have never had an adapted home. Knowing that in a few months, I will have freedom in my home and be able to take a shower alone and be safe, is just amazing,” said SSG Brent Bretz, USA (Ret). “Thank you to Helping a Hero, Bass Pro, Capital One and Lennar for making this home a reality. I am forever grateful.”
“Staff Sergeant Bretz is a servant leader who has never had an adapted home,” said Meredith Iler, Helping a Hero Program founder. “Helping a Hero is thrilled to partner with Lennar to design a wheelchair accessible home for Brent complete with wider doors and hallways, an adapted bathroom and other safety features to insure he has freedom inside his home.”
“Giving back to the communities in which we build is a core value at Lennar and on behalf of our entire Phoenix Division, we are honored that Brent chose a Lennar home,” said Alan Jones, Phoenix Division President for Lennar. “Our team is happy to commit our time and resources to create an exceptional home for an extremely deserving American hero.”
SSG Bretz is an incredible Dad to his 21 year old daughter and spends his time as founder of a nonprofit to help veterans find transitional housing. SSG Brent Bretz joined the Army in October 2000. He completed Basic and Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia and was then stationed at Fort Lewis, WA with the 25th ID. His unit deployed to Iraq as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) where he was a sniper. On December 19th, 2004, he was driving a supply truck when it hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) outside Mosul, Iraq which took both of his legs and left him with multiple permanent injuries including a TBI, burns, loss of hearing in his left ear and a fused elbow. He was stabilized in Germany and completed his rehab in San Antonio where he had therapy and daily rehab. Although a double amputee, Brent is very independent and wears his prosthetics at least a portion of every day.
About Helping A Hero:
Texas-based Helping a Hero is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization providing support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror. Our principal activity is to provide specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engage the community to provide services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families. Home recipients include veterans whose permanent injuries from combat have left them paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees, blind, with severe burns and other injuries. Helping A Hero provides additional support programs including marriage retreats, caregiver retreats, recreational activities, and emergency needs support. Helping a Hero Outdoors has expanded to serve our heroes through hunting and fishing outings.
About the 100 Homes Challenge:
Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops and noted conservationist, launched the 100 Homes Challenge and committed to fund 25 percent of the cost of the next 100 Helping a Hero homes. Helping a Hero invites the public to join Johnny Morris in the 100 Homes Challenge by making a donation, however large or small, to help to fund the other 75 percent of the cost of these homes.
Helping A Hero is accepting applications from Post 9-11 wounded warriors needing a specially adapted home due to their combat injuries to become part of the 100 Homes Challenge. We also invite the public to Nominate a Hero. Both the home application and the Nominate a Hero form are available on our website at www.helpingahero.org.
About Lennar Corporation
Lennar Corporation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. Lennar builds affordable, move-up and active adult homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. Lennar’s Financial Services segment provides mortgage financing, title and closing services primarily for buyers of Lennar’s homes and, through LMF Commercial, originates mortgage loans secured primarily by commercial real estate properties throughout the United States. Lennar’s Multifamily segment is a nationwide developer of high-quality multifamily rental properties. LENX drives Lennar’s technology, innovation and strategic investments.
Meredith Iler, Founder, Helping a Hero Home Program and Chairman Emeritus of HelpingaHero.org
832-647-8683 mobile, [email protected]
Danielle Tocco, Vice President Communications, Lennar Corporation
949-648-1823 mobile, [email protected]