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Injured Vet gets home built in Brevard County


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Aug 20, 2006

    This at the very least is a heart warming story of community involvment.  At most, I'm posting this to help raise funds for this particular project.  I have personaly talked to Mr. Gambill at length over the phone.  And will be attending the contractors meeting within the next 8 weeks.  The property which is in Capron Ridge is just around the corner from me and was closed on Friday the 6th.  There are still a few contractors that have to be lined up and some permitting issue's being handled.  More funds are needed.  There will also be a "volunteer day" (or days) depending on how quick schedules permit.

You can make a donation in several ways thru the site.
Donation page:

or you can send me a paypal at Endeavourhd@aol.com (but, I dont see a need for it, but it's an option.  www.Homeforourtroops.org have also done great things with help from Extreme home makeover.  You can read about other projects on their site.

By G.W. Pomichter

Staff writer

While stories of America's wounded troops abound, they usually end in the award of heroic medals like the famed Purple Heart.
For one Satellite Beach veteran, the story culminates with a new home.
Russell Gambill, of Melbourne, is a volunteer with Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds or renovates homes for troops severely disabled in the war.
"As a retired Air Force veteran, I needed something to do, and wanted to do something to help out the troops," said Mr. Gambill. "That's when my wife heard about Homes for Our Troops through Military.com."
Military.com is a veterans' Internet site similar to MySpace.com, which is designed to help U.S. military veterans stay in touch with those with whom they served.
"I liked the idea immediately, and there was no one working on it in Florida," Mr. Gambill said.
HFOT is a national non-profit organization founded in 2004 in Taunton, Mass. by John Gonsalves.
Mr. Gonsalves began the organization after learning of the difficulties faced by a disabled soldier returning home after losing both of his arms.
The program's mission is to make homes designed to be compatible with each veteran's special needs, including wheel chair-accessible doors and ramps, as well as special railings.

********All of the work is done at no cost to the veteran.********
Since 2004, the program has grown and now boasts more than 20 projects in 18 states, including building a home for Satellite Beach Staff Sgt. Paul Marek.
Sgt. Marek lost his left leg, left arm and suffered severe burns to 20 percent of his body when his tank hit an improvised explosive device outside of Baghdad on Sept. 18, 2005.
In May 2006, Mr. Gambill and the HFOT program heard about Sgt. Marek's disabilities.
"Some of the people in the hospital with him contacted Homes for Our Troops, and recommended him," said Sgt. Marek's father, Paul.
Sgt. Marek said he couldn't believe they were building him a home.
"I just said, 'the're going to do what?'" he said. "It was a so completely surprising."
Sgt. Marek has lived with his parents in Satellite Beach since returning home from Tampa's James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.
Mr. Gambill wants to help the wounded soldier become more self-sufficient, so HFOT is building him a new home.
"We're hoping that by the time the house is built, he will be a little more mobile," said Sgt. Marek's father. "It might not be right away, but he should be able to live on his own in about two years."
Once HFOT approved the project, Mr. Gambill began reaching out to other area veterans to raise the money needed to construct a new home for Sgt. Marek.
"We've received such tremendous support so far," Mr. Gambill said.
"All of the veterans, and everyone has been great about this," said Sgt. Marek.
To date Mr. Gambill and local HFOT volunteers from Melbourne's American Legion Post 81 and area VFWs have raised $30,000 toward the project.
HFOT has secured a house from MetalCon International, a company specializing in houses built from steel framing, and is working to secure the land from Sun Castle Homes in the Capron Ridge development in Viera.
Mr. Gambill said this location was ideal because of the frequent trips Sgt. Marek makes to the neighboring Veterans Clinic on Stadium Boulevard near Space Coast Stadium.
"He spends five days a week there (for) at least three hours a day," said Mr. Marek. "So this is an ideal place to build."
"Strategically it's perfect," he said.
Construction has not yet begun on the Marek home, and Mr. Gambill said there were still details to work out until the project could begin.
"We have several contractors willing to donate their time and materials, but we still need a general contractor, a plumber and some others," said Mr. Gambill. "It is hard to say when the construction will begin, there is a lot of planning still left to do."
The Marek house is currently the only HFOT project in Florida.
For information, contact Russell Gambill at (321) 917-6409 or visit the HFOT Website at: www.homesforourtroops.org.
Contact G.W. Pomichter at (321) 759-6362 or e-mail him at pomichter@hometownnewsol.com.


Thanks for reading!
(y) keep us posted

Willing to volunteer blood sweat and some tears if needed from the blood.

Seriously we will contribute to help anyway possible.  BTW, J - this is NOT one of those "where does this wire go" venues  :beating: :laugh: