July 23, 2013
The annual grant is awarded to a severely injured veteran to assist in the cost of a mortgage-free home built specifically to meet his or her needs
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa Veterans United Foundation, the charitable arm of Veterans United Home Loans, named former Navy EOD2 Taylor Morris as the 2014 recipient of its Home for a Hero grant. The grant will pay for a portion of the home being built by Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Cedar Falls, Iowa, today. Morris and girlfriend, Danielle Kelly, accepted the grant via webcast from Walter Reed National Medical Center, where Morris continues physical therapy and recovery.
We are very excited to hear that news, Morris said. We want to thank Veterans United for their generosity. Without giving organizations like Veterans United Foundation, building and funding a home back in our community would not be possible.
Morris, a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician 2nd Class (Diver), was struck by an improvised explosive device in May 2012 while serving in Afghanistan, causing him to lose all four limbs. After the accident, Kelly flew to Walter Reed and has been there supporting Morris since. The home will be built in their hometown of Cedar Falls, in order to be close to friends and family.
When we first heard Taylor and Danielle's story we knew we had to help, said Megan Sievers, director of Veterans United Foundation. They deserve a home where they feel comfortable, safe and above all else, happy. We are honored to help make that dream home a reality."
Actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will host a benefit concert for Morris on August 3 at Gateway Park in Cedar Falls to raise the additional funds to complete the home. The Veterans United Home for a Hero grant is awarded annually to a severely injured veteran to assist in the cost of a mortgage-free home built specifically to meet his or her needs. The inaugural 2013 recipient was Marine Sgt. Ben Tomlinson.