Peoria, Ariz.—Army 1SG William “Mike” Leonard and his family received the keys to their home in Peoria, Ariz., during Veterans Weekend 2013. Built at no cost to severely wounded veterans by Homes For Our Troops (HFOT), these projects depend on labor donated by contractors and workers and from donated materials, such as flooring from Armstrong.
Sgt. William “Mike” Leonard
Arizona flooring retailer Phil Koufidakis, president of Baker Brothers, said his organization is proud to have assisted with the installation of the hardwood floors and Alterna engineered tile in the home. “We feel very fortunate to know that in some small way we are part of Sgt. Leonard’s reintegration back at home and in our community.”
As an Armstrong Elite Dealer, Baker Bros. offers an extensive selection of Armstrong floor samples in each of their seven showrooms, including the new American Scrape hardwood collection, a portion of which sales support Armstrong’s donation of flooring in 2013 to HFOT. Distributor TriWest also donated 50% of the Alterna product for the build.
Sgt. Leonard was on his 4th deployment when he lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in March 2010. While escorting an Afghan Army support squad back to base after they had participated in the initial phase of a search mission, the Medical Evacuation Vehicle carrying Sgt. Leonard and his teammates ran over an IED, the blast tearing into the vehicle.
Phil Koufidakis, far right, president of Baker Bros., looks on during Veterans Weekend ceremony in which Army Sgt. William “Mike” Leonard was given keys to his new home.
In a coma for three days, it was only after he woke that Sgt. Leonard learned he had lost his right leg below the knee, seriously injured his left foot, which eventually needed to be amputated, broken his back, had loss of vision in his right eye, and suffered hearing loss in both ears.
He continues receiving therapies and treatments. When asked how his new HFOT home will make a difference in his life, he said, “My injuries were life changing events that left us unsure of my future and with many questions about where we would live and how I would be able to make a living and pay a mortgage. To have no mortgage payments and to be able to just live and to try to be an inspiration to others is a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders.
“Living in an accessible home built to suit my specific needs will be amazing,” he explained. “This will enable me/us to focus on living and helping others. Thank you for having such huge hearts. We’re lucky to have the support of others surrounding us.”
Seventy percent of HFOT funds raised are through individual contributions from across the country.