SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, severely wounded MSG John Masson, along with his wife Dustina and their three children, were handed the keys and iPad to their new specially adapted Smart Home at a dedication ceremony held in Southern Pines, NC. The Smart Home is designed and built with Masson's needs in mind and comes customized with a variety of features that ease daily challenges and helps restore independence, including retractable cabinets and shelving, automated lighting and security systems, transfer benches and more. The home was made possible by Building for America's Bravest, a partner program of the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program and Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation along with financial support from Wounded Warriors Family Support, an organization Founded by Col. John Folsom that provides valuable assistance to families of those who have been injured, wounded or killed during combat operations.
"John Masson is a great soldier and a great American who simply wanted to serve his country and has sacrificed greatly in his service," said Sinise, Founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. "It has been my honor to get to know him and his family over the years and to build this special home through the Gary Sinise Foundation, along with the support of our many great sponsors and donors. We supported this effort with a tribute concert in 2013 in Fayetteville and I thank everyone who stepped up to support them. Most of all I thank John Masson for inspiring us all to try to do a little bit more and to never forget the cost of freedom."
"The Siller family and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation rejoice that John Masson and his wonderful family will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in their beautiful new home--one that was specially designed to meet their needs," said Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation. "We will forever be indebted to John for his heroic service, and are delighted that this home will assist him in being able to lead an independent life."
"We at Wounded Warriors Family Support know the importance of helping those who serve our country," said Col. Folsom. "It's an honor to be able to do our part in contributing to the construction of John and his family's new home."
Masson has served in the US Army in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, in the Indiana Army National Guard, the Ohio Army National Guard and the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 2010, while conducting Village Stability Operations in Afghanistan, Masson stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost an arm and both legs. Thanks to his training, he was able to assist his fellow Medical Sergeant in treating his wounds – actions which saved his life. He's received both the Purple Heart medal for his injuries and a second Bronze Star medal for his actions in combat.
"My family and I are eternally grateful to everyone who played a part in the building of our new Smart Home," said Masson. "There are no words that can truly express what this means to us. We'll forever be indebted to those who came together in support of me and my family."
In addition to the assistance from Wounded Warriors Family Support, The Carrington Companies provided project management services for Masson's home as well as all the homes that fall under the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program. Other donors who contributed to Masson's home include Shubert Design Furniture, Carrington Charitable Foundation, Stars & Stripes Tournament, Golden State Foods Foundation, CORE Brands, Qmotion, Carpet One, Mohawk Flooring, General Electric, DeHaven's Transfer & Storage, Inc., America's Fund, IT and Media Solutions, Goneau Dishner, and North American Moving Services.
About Gary Sinise Foundation
Launched in 2011, the Foundation honors its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. For more information, please visit www.garysinisefoundation.org.
About Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (T2T)
Best known for its annual Tunnel to Towers Run at Ground Zero in New York City, is committed to building specially-adapted "Smart Homes" for the most seriously wounded U.S. service personnel through its Building for America's Bravest program. For more information, go to www.Tunnel2Towers.org.
SOURCE Gary Sinise Foundation