St. Louis, Mo.—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has provided flooring for its 63rd home in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The initiative builds mortgage-free, custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.
The home dedication for United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Stuart Dipaolo took place on July 14, in Vista, Calif. Flooring for the project was donated by Mannington, an NWFA member.
Sgt. Dipaolo entered the Marines in June 2004, two days after his high school graduation. After serving in Japan, he volunteered to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was stationed at Camp Taqaddam, Al Anbar Province. He was injured in 2015 during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., when his all-terrain vehicle lost control and rolled over onto him, breaking his neck, crushing his head and breaking every bone in his face.
“Staff Sergeant Dipaolo endured numerous major surgeries as a result of his injuries,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO, NWFA. “His left arm and left leg remain paralyzed, he lost his vision in his left eye and has limited vision in his right eye. Despite these injuries, he is intent on serving as a mentor to other wounded service members battling the physical and psychological wounds that come with life-changing traumatic injuries. We’re honored to partner with Mannington to provide beautiful wood floors for his new home.”
In addition to the 63 homes already completed, NWFA said it 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. To date, 143 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics and installation services in locations throughout the United States, with a total value of more than $5.7 million, according to the organization.
A list of all NWFA R.I.S.E. participating companies can be found here.