Oregon's Advantis Credit Union, leading the drive in that state to build two homes for severely injured soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, said it is now ready to break ground for its second home and have it ready for occupancy by year-end.
The $720 million Advantis of Milwaukie said it was heartened by public and industry support for the Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops charity. Three hundred volunteers turned out for a "build brigade" in Parkdale, Ore., where the first home is under construction for Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, who lost both his legs in an ambush in Iraq.
Advantis and the charity will convene with local dignitaries and volunteers to build the second home in Sandy, Ore., for Kevin Pannell, who also lost his legs in Baghdad in 2004.
"Advantis was founded on the concept of 'people helping people' and its support of Homes for Our Troops underscores the core values of the credit union," said Ron Barrick, president/CEO.
"There is a need for continued support for our injured veterans, and Advantis is honored to bring Homes for Our Troops to Oregon. We invite other Northwest companies to join us in making these builds an ongoing initiative."
Advantis said it first began getting involved with HFOT when "several Advantis board members heard an appeal at an industry conference from John Gonsalves, HFOT founder, asking credit unions to get involved in helping disabled veterans."