By Tamas Mondovics
Corporal Anthony Trzeciak received a one of a kind welcome home ceremony last month that included a special gift fitting for an injured U.S. military veteran.
Nearly 200 supporters and representatives of Building Homes for Heroes (BHH), a national nonprofit organization that builds modified homes and gifts them to wounded veterans and their families, gathered to honor Trzeciak, his wif
e, Tara, and their two children with a brand new mortgage-free home.
Built by William Ryan Homes in the Enclave at South Fork community in Riverview, the new four bedroom, 2,600 sq. ft. house includes amenities like a screened-in pool overlooking a lake in the back.
The pool will come in handy for Anthony as he continues to perform his water therapy, and Building Homes for Heroes made sure that the entire house is built to help the wheelchair-bound vet in every way possible, including maneuvering in and around his new home.
Special features include no step at the front door, lowered counter tops and pull-out cabinets in the kitchen and throughout the house, not to mention one of the best features; the handicap-accessible bathroom with a 5 ft. radius allowing him to wheel around with ease.
Anthony enlisted in the military in 2008 in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, and served through January of 2012.
On July 1, 2011, Anthony’s vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, injuring his back and head. Afterward, he contracted an infection and was paralyzed from the waist down. Adding more pain to the injury, he also suffers from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Taking his turn to say a few words to all who came out to welcome him to his new home and neighborhood, Anthony knew just what to say during the emotionally charged patriotic ceremony.
“Everyone says that I am a hero, but the real heroes are the guys that did not come back, and my buddies who are still serving,” Anthony said. “I want to thank everyone for their support.”
Reflecting on the special day and what the organization as a whole has been able to accomplish, Building Homes For Heroes Tampa area Mission Leader, Kelly Hallman, spoke highly of the Trzeciak family when she said, “These veterans and their families are not looking for a handout but a hand to help. These are our heroes on a road to recovery and who are looking to make their way it back into civilian life. We are here to help them make that happen.”
The Trzeciak family is the third recipient of a new home by Building Homes for Heroes in the Tampa Bay area.
Counting nine consecutive years of record-setting growth, and after gifting 28 homes in 2015, Building Homes for Heroes has its sights set on gifting 36 homes in 2016, taking the total to 100 by the end of the year, which equals one home every 10 days.
“It’s our honor to support the men and women who have loyally and courageously served our country,” Hallman said.
Also pleased to have a share in supporting injured veterans, William Ryan Homes Division President, Jeff Thorson, spoke about the effort as well as pledged his continued support when he said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be part of this.”
Thorson especially thanked the contractors and builders for their immediate and willing response to help.
“You won’t believe the support we get from our builders when they hear about these projects,” Thorson said.
Following the ceremony, Anthony and his family expressed their hospitality to all present by welcoming them to be the first to visit their new home.
To learn more about the organization, visit www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.