The CU donations, the culmination of fundraising efforts by the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire Credit Union Associations, were announced at a June 13 gala dinner to help draw national attention to support-the-troops endeavors.
CU executives from across New England heard some of the injured vets describe their war and rehab experiences, as well as the latest plans by Homes for Our Troops to build the specially constructed homes in Massachusetts communities where the veterans now live. Several of the speeches to the group brought tears from many in the audience as the vets praised family and a support network for helping them get through the ordeal, according to attendees.
Homes for Our Troops said it expects at least one of the homes financed by the association to be completed by November.
Dan Egan, president/CEO of the three-state association, also spoke before the gathering of 550 people. He expressed pride in CU sponsorship of Home for Our Troops and added that the effort was a good fit for CUs' mission of supporting "community-based, grassroots initiatives."
"We proudly salute the men and women that serve in our military and are honored to support Homes for Our Troops as it helps rebuild the lives," said Egan.
The bulk of the association's funds will go toward building a home for Army Staff Sgt. Michael Downing, a double amputee from Middleboro, Mass., who suffered severe injuries in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in September 2008.
Separately, Greylock FCU of Pittsfield, Mass., pledged $10,000 to help build a home for Army Sgt. Peter Rooney of Worthington, Mass., who lost both legs above the knee when the vehicle he was riding in hit a roadside bomb in April 2007.
The campaign supporting Homes for Our Troops in New England dovetails similar fundraising under way by the Missouri Credit Union Association to also erect a home for a disabled vet.