WILDWOOD, Mo. – It took nine months to build this house. The materials were stone, wood, brick, and a number of intangibles that were integral in the completion of this home sweet home.
“It’s so much, I don’t think I can put into words how good it is,” says retired Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland.
With the foundation laid of service to his country, more than 400 people helped complete the house. Under the direction of the Gary Sinise Foundation, builders, contractors, designers, and more gave their time and money to make this home a reality for the Strickland family.
“I would donate the band and play a concert and we’d raise money and build houses,” says Gary Sinise, founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “Then when I created my foundation I just wanted to continue doing that. So we created the RISE program, Restore Independence, Supporting Empowerment. That’s what we do is give the independence back to someone that had it taken away because of their injury.”
In just 7-1/2 years, Gary Sinise, his Lt. Dan Band, and the Gary Sinise Foundation have provided 70 forever homes to veterans and officers injured in the line of duty.
“Just think of being a legless, above knee amputee, and the things I used to take for granted because I had legs,” says Strickland. “Now I have a wheelchair and when I get home and take my legs off and enjoy the house and not have to roll around and getting into doorways.”
“This house is going to provide them with an opportunity to move forward in their lives. These are all mortgage-free homes,” Sinise said.