Escondido, CA

Providing a roof over our injured veterans




Though many government pro­grams impacting our country’s vet­erans originate at the federal level, whenever possible I will continue to support state initiatives to im­prove the lives of California’s large, growing veterans population.

With well over 200,000 veterans calling this region home, it is also important to encourage and support non-governmental organizations and local businesses when they join together to serve those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Homes for Our Troops is one such organization. A privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit, the or­ganization builds specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans of the Iraq and Af­ghanistan Wars.

Since its inception in 2004, Homes for Our Troops has built more than 190 homes, with 90 per­cent of the funds raised used to fi­nance specially outfitted homes for our country’s most severely injured veterans.

Recently, I was honored to author an Assembly Resolution saluting this outstanding organization at a ground breaking ceremony in Escondido.

A new home is being built for Marine Sgt. Toran Gaal, who sus­tained a brain injury and lost both legs to an IED, an improvised ex­plosive device, in Afghanistan.

Once complete, Sgt. Gaal’s home will have an open kitchen layout, plenty of wide-open spaces and other amenities designed specifi­cally to fit his needs.

The manner in which these funds were raised is truly inspiring. For example, local businesses stepped up to help build Sgt. Gaal’s home and to provide necessary financing and home amenities. These busi­nesses include CertaPro Painters, Youngren Construction, Budget Blinds and Prospect Mortgage.

We must never forget the debt we owe to our veterans. If the out­pouring of support for groups like Homes for Our Troops is any indi­cation, we never will.

It is truly an honor to represent such outstanding people in the Cali­fornia Legislature.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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