By Sgt. Kim Browne, HQ, 1st Cav. Div. PAOMarch 15, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers returning home from deployment often have many new things to adapt to. For most of these Soldiers it is readjusting to their "normal" way of life but for others it is getting used to the injuries and handicaps they received while on their deployment.
For Sgt. 1st Class Charles Armstead, a wounded Soldier with the Warrior Transition Brigade and formerly with the 1st Cavalry Division, he is receiving assistance to readjust from Homes for our Troops who began building him a wheelchair accessible home, March 11, in Killeen, Texas at no charge to him.
Armstead was shot in the stomach at an outpost in Hamman Al Alil, Iraq in May 2009 leaving him with internal injuries and a shattered right hip. Because of this he lost his right leg and is currently in a wheel chair.
"The assistance from Homes for Our Troops will give me back my independence," Armstead said. "I will be able to get around my home without assistance. In my living situation now I am confined to a couple of rooms in the house because we have a two story home, a home from HFOT will eliminate that problem, it will be a life-changing experience for both me and my family."
HFOT achieves their mission by using volunteers from the local community.
"I heard about Charles' home through the Home Builders Association," said Tim Farek, job manager with Cameo Homes Inc. "We have had lots of volunteers, guys we usually work with like the subcontractors who came through to help."
Volunteers did not stop there, many were from the Cav.
"I have known Sgt. 1st Class Armstead since 2005 and I wanted to do what I could to help a friend," said Sgt. 1st Class William Davis Jr., rear detachment first sergeant for Operations Company, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cav. Div.
Soldiers from other units on Fort Hood also stepped up to help.
"It was the least I could do to help someone who gave so much for our country," said Spc. William Begley, 11th Public Affairs Detachment. "His home is really going to make things easier for his family and is being done first class."
Construction for Armstead's home is scheduled to be complete early July.
"With all the volunteers and donations we are receiving it shouldn't even take us that long," said Autumn Oster, the community outreach coordinator for HFOT.
Armstead applied through HFOT in October 2010 and received a response in November 2010. HFOT is currently assisting 95 service members nationwide. One requirement to received HFOT assistance is being severely injured.
"Homes for our Troops is an amazing organization and is doing so much to help us," said Tonia Armstead, wife of Charles.
The Armstead's are being built a 2,600 square-foot home with four bedrooms and a two-car garage, all which will be wheelchair accessible to aid Charles in adapting to and overcoming his injuries.