2014

Independence Day: Providing Severely Injured Vets With A House To Come Home To Building for America's Bravest gets vets off the wait list and into their Smart Homes

Interview Opportunity Available

NEW YORK, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new campaign is launching this week, coinciding with Independence Day, to raise awareness of the Building for America's Bravest program. Supported by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Building for America's Bravest program strives to empower catastrophically injured war veterans by providing them with custom-designed, specially-adapted Smart Homes. The goal of the awareness campaign is to get the quadruple amputees, triple amputees and other catastrophically injured service members off the wait list and into purpose-built, handicapped-accessible homes.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130702/DC41399)

Frank Siller, Chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Building for America's Bravest program, said: "When catastrophically injured war veterans return home, home is sadly no longer the same. They need custom facilities and Smart Homes in order for them to live an independent life. The problem is that there are still so many deserving veterans on the waiting list, which is why we are launching this campaign around Independence Day to raise awareness of the program. These war heroes gave their unconditional support to our country – now we need to help them regain their independence."

The centerpiece of the awareness campaign is five television commercials, conceived by Chris Wall, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather North America, and directed by award-winning director, Joe Pytka.

The television spots are being aired via a measurable direct response TV campaign from A Eicoff & Company and supported by Public Service Announcements, both beginning w/c July 1. There is also a digital campaign (including online video and social media activation) and some direct response radio. The campaign is underpinned by a new landing destination that seamlessly integrates the imagery of the television commercials to the digital environment – OurBravest.org.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman & CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, remarked: "When Frank Siller approached me to get Ogilvy involved on a pro bono basis in Building for America's Bravest, it was a no-brainer. I recruited a small band of volunteers to work some nights and weekends, with 100% of them agreeing on the spot to participate. When we met the vets, we were stunned by their bravery and optimism. Ogilvy is honored to be part of such a worthy cause."

Speaking about the creative inspiration for the campaign, Chris Wall, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather North America, said: "The character, purpose and dignity of these men are just extraordinary. The usual problem in advertising is to make boring things emotional or complicated things simple.  This is the opposite. From the start our feeling was: just tell the story. No tricks, gimmicks or shenanigans."  

The Building for America's Bravest program builds homes that are designed to provide maximum accessibility and independence for catastrophically injured veterans and their families. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Energy efficient, automated and easily accessible—these Smart Homes use "adaptive technology" to help our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives. Smart Homes host a myriad of features such as automated doors and lighting, wider doors and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered and central heating and air condition systems that can be controlled by a tablet or smart phone.

Building for America's Bravest has identified more than 400 catastrophically injured veterans who qualify for the program. By the end of 2013 Building for America's Bravest has a goal to deliver or begin construction on 23 new homes in 17 states. Veterans from all branches (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, & Air Force) have received homes through the Building for America's Bravest program.

The Building for America's Bravest program is also supported by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K Run/Walk Series (T2Trun.org). The Tunnel To Towers Run first began in 2002 as a memorial to FDNY hero and father of five, Stephen Siller.  On September 11, 2001, Stephen was on his way home from the night shift to play golf with his three older brothers. When he heard on his scanner what had happened at the World Trade Center, brave Stephen strapped on 60 lbs. of firefighter gear, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site. Stephen was last seen with his brothers of Squad 1, all of whom died saving others. In honor of Stephen and all those that lost their lives on September 11th and while serving our country, the Tunnel To Towers Run program champions our heroes "in the line of duty" - the first responders and United State military, ensuring that together "We Will Never Forget."

For more information on Building for America's Bravest, please visit OurBravest.org

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: JULY 2 - 7

* * * Feature story which ran in the New York Times on Tuesday July 2 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/business/media/on-independence-day-a-salute-to-the-brave.html?ref=business&_r=1&  * * *

WHAT:

As quad and triple amputee war veterans return home from serving their country, home is sadly no longer the same. Their wheel chairs are too wide for their hallways, they can't switch the lights on, they can't reach the kitchen counter tops. That's where the Building for America's Bravest program helps by building Smart Homes, custom-designed to address the unique needs of our most catastrophically injured service members so they can reclaim their independence.



WHY: 

A new campaign is launching this week, coinciding with Independence Day, to raise awareness of the Building for America's Bravest initiative to build homes for the 400+ catastrophically injured veterans (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, & Air Force) who qualify for the program. The goal of the awareness campaign is to get the quadruple amputees, triple amputees and other catastrophically injured service members off the wait list and into purpose-built, handicapped-accessible homes.



WHO: 

Three catastrophically injured war vets will tell their stories and their hopes for getting off the wait list and into a custom-built Smart Home:


- US Army Captain, Ben Harrow


- US Army Weapons Squad Leader, Travis Mills


- US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, Taylor Morris



WHEN: 

Tuesday July 2 – Sunday July 7



VIDEO: 

5 television spots (can be viewed at ourbravest.org, broadcast quality footage available)


B-roll of a vet showing the features of his Smart Home             

About the Building for America's Bravest program:

  • The program is supported by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing services for our most seriously injured first responders & military heroes through the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk Series and the Building for America's Bravest program. @Tunnel2Towers
  • Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Energy efficient, automated and easily accessible—these Smart Homes use "adaptive technology" to help our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives
  • Smart Homes host a myriad of features such as automated doors and lighting, wider doors and special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, cabinets and counters that can be raised and lowered and central heating and air condition systems that can be controlled by tablets and/or smart phones.

Travis Mills, Army
Manchester, ME

"Help my soldiers," Travis Mills yelled several times at a medic. Minutes before, the staff sergeant lost his legs and arms after stepping on an improvised explosive device.

Travis, a weapons squad leader, brought over a dozen soldiers and an explosive ordinance disposal team to an abandoned Afghanistan National Army security post on April 10, 2012. Soon after entering the area, the bomb exploded.

Travis has a no-nonsense approach to the devastating injuries he sustained. "Life's hard, and this kind of stuff happens," he says. "I've always been positive, I've always been motivated. I have to get better. I got a wife and child to take care of."

Despite the loss of both legs and both arms, Travis is optimistic about what life would be like for him in a smart house.  "I'm on the list to get a house, says Travis, "and the house, its going to be amazing" he says, "It gives me that freedom back… I can take care of my daughter by myself. Wake up and cook a breakfast on a stove. Get in the counters and cupboards. Just the little things that you wouldn't think about without being disabled."

A Smart Home would help Travis care for his wife and their daughter Chloe.

Issued by: The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation & Ogilvy

For more information, contact: Mish Fletcher, Ogilvy, mish.fletcher@ogilvy.com, 917 691 3804 or 212 237 6966

About Tunnel To Towers Foundation:

The Tunnel To Towers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing services for our most seriously injured first responders & military heroes through the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk Series and the Building for America's Bravest program. @Tunnel2Towers

About Ogilvy & Mather

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. It was named Cannes Lions Network of the Year and the World's Most Effective Agency Network by the Effie Effectiveness Index for two consecutive years, 2012 and 2013. The company is comprised of industry leading units in all of the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics capabilities; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on Facebook.com/Ogilvy.

SOURCE Building for America's Bravest




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