St. Louis, Mo.—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has provided flooring for its 51st home in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. The home dedication for United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jonathon Blank took place on Nov. 11, in Midway, Utah. Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member Amaz Flooring.
SSgt Blank joined the Marine Corps in 2006. In 2008, he was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Oct. 26, 2010, he was conducting a long-range reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan when he was severely injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in shrapnel wounds to his left arm and head, as well as the loss of both of his legs.
“Staff Sergeant Blank was in the hospital nearly four years recovering from his injuries,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “His time there was full of both progress and setbacks, but despite the difficult situation he was unwilling to let his injuries stand in his way. Today, he remains active outdoors and even goes skiing. We’re honored to partner with Amaz Flooring to provide flooring for his new home.”
In addition to the 51 homes already completed, the NWFA is currently working with its members to source wood flooring for 16 additional R.I.S.E. homes in various stages of planning and construction. Currently, 141 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics and installation services in locations throughout the United States, with a total value of more than $5.2 million.