Memorial Day isn't the only time that Jared Allen remembers and honors the individuals who have served our country. For the new Bears defensive end, it's a never-ending endeavor.
Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors foundation is teaming up with the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund to purchase, remodel and donate a handicap-accessible home in Gilbert, Arizona, to a wounded war veteran, Army Ranger Sergeant First Class (SFC) Cory Remsburg.
In 2009, Remsburg and his platoon hit a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and the explosion nearly killed him. He was found face down with shrapnel lodged in his brain. Remsburg was in a coma for more than three months. After undergoing dozens of surgeries, he is still blind in his right eye and is partially paralyzed on his left side. After years of rehabilitation centers and hospitals, Remsburg now lives at home with a full-time caregiver in Phoenix.
Modifications to Remsburg's home will include widening of all doorways, installation of all new appliances and fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchens as well as new flooring. The house will also include a large gym for his extensive rehab, a guest home for his live-in caregiver, an automated home control system and a wheel-in pool for underwater rehabilitation with a therapeutic Jacuzzi.
Allen created Homes for Wounded Warriors in 2009 after returning home from a USO trip to U.S. military bases in the Middle East. According to his website, he was moved by the commitment, dedication and sacrifices that American soldiers make and wanted to say thank you to them by doing something to make their lives easier once they returned home.
Allen comes from a military family; his brother, father and two uncles have served in the Marines and Air Force.
"I first heard Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg's incredible story in 2013 and knew that he was someone we needed to assist," Allen said. "Through current supporters of my charity, Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, we were able to reach out to the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund who had been helping Remsburg out since his injury in 2009.
"We knew right away that this was a perfect partnership between our two organizations and together we could make a true positive impact in the life of another hero. We look forward to completing this home for Cory Remsburg and continuing to work with the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund."
Since 2007, the Lead the Way Fund has been dedicated to assisting active duty and wounded elite Special Operations U.S. Army Rangers and the families of Rangers who have been killed with health, wellness and other financial aid programs beyond what the Government and Veterans Affairs are able to offer. The Fund has been supporting Remsburg and his family since he sustained his life-altering injuries in 2009.
"When we were introduced to Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, we knew immediately that collaborating with them to purchase and modify this home for Cory was going to be a good partnership," said James P. Regan, CEO of the Lead the Way Fund.
"Cory is an extraordinary young man. Having seen how far he has come through his recovery and rehabilitation efforts, it is an honor to purchase this home for him and help him regain some of the independence he has longed for. With several other Rangers in the queue for homes, and in need of our assistance, we look forward to working with Jared Allen's team again on these future projects."