The “support the troops” movement is picking up this holiday season with Connecticut and Missouri credit unions sponsoring new projects to build and remodel homes for injured Iraq and Afghanistan war vets.
The $1.3 billion American Eagle FCU of East Hartford is the latest to come forth by becoming a prime Purple Heart Homes sponsor, helping to finance the remodeling of a Glastonbury home making it accessible for an injured vet in 2012.
A Jan. 18 kickoff has been set for the local event with construction to start in April, said a spokeswoman for Purple Heart Homes, a Statesville, N.C. nonprofit which also expressed gratitude for American Eagle’s patriotic participation.
“We agreed to be a collection point as part of the fundraising while Purple Heart solicits professional tradesmen to do work on the home,” explained Brian Kennedy, vice president-marketing/public relations for the Hartford CU.
American Eagle volunteered after being approached by local groups “and we knew this is something important right in our own backyard,” said Kennedy.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Credit Union Association said it has wound up a fundraising campaign this month under the Homes for Our Troops banner to build its second home for an injured Afghanistan vet, 23-year-old Justin McLoud, who lost his legs in a December 2010 IED explosion.
MCUA said work on a home for McLoud and his family in Festus, Mo., will start next year with land purchases arranged by the Taunton, Mass.-based charity, which since 2008 has worked with CUNA and state leagues to build four specially adapted homes. A fifth home was built last year by Advantis CU in Oregon.
In 2010 the Missouri trade group turned over the keys to its first HFOT home in Columbia, Mo., built for Army Sgt. Robert Canine and his family. Canine had lost both legs below the knee in the Iraq war.