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At a “Welcome Home Ceremony,” SSG Michael Brown, his wife Kim and their daughter Alyssa accepted ownership of a new, adaptive home in Crossings at River Landing. CONTRIBUTED

SSG Brown accepts house from Helping a Hero, Breland Homes

MADISON – A local veteran’s family has a new place to call home.

A “Welcome Home Ceremony” honored Staff Sergeant or SSG Michael Brown and revealed his new home in the Crossings at River Landing community. Brown served and sacrificed in the U.S. Army.

Brown, his wife Kim and daughter Alyssa have moved into their adaptive home.

In 2021, Louis and Patti Breland, owners of Breland Homes, partnered with the Helping A Hero Foundation to construct adaptive homes without a mortgage for two Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipients, both amputees from North Alabama. (256today.com)

In June, Army Sgt. 1st Class Scott Barkalow and his wife Tina moved into their adaptive home in Athens.

On Oct. 5, Meredith Iler, founder of the Helping a Hero Home Program, presided over the ceremony and said the new homes are a way to say, “Thank you,” to these wounded veterans.

Grammy-award winner Lee Greenwood, national ambassador for the Helping a Hero Foundation, joined local veterans’ groups and elected state and county officials to welcome SSG Brown’s family to their new home in Madison. Greenwood sang the opening song for his tours, “Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Flies.”

The ceremony opened with a color guard, “Pledge of Allegiance,” and prayer, followed by “American Idol” contestant Maddye Trew with her rendition of “The National Anthem.”

Floorplans in adaptive homes have wider doorways, walk-in showers with a bench and shower wand and other features adapted for convenience and safety, Iler said.

For the first time, Helping a Hero built a home for an active-duty service member, Iler said. Until eight years ago, active-duty personnel were prohibited from accepting gifts of more than $250. Helping a Hero worked with the Department of Defense and U.S. Congress members for legislation to allow home construction for wheelchair-bound individuals, amputees and others who need adaptive housing.

“The love and support I received taught me a powerful lesson that reshaped me into the man I am today. Trust me when I tell you, this house is a much-needed blessing and will pre-empt the worries I have had from this day forward,” Brown said. (256today.com/hero-helped-wounded-vet-family-welcomed-to-adaptive-home)

Special guests included Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth; Louis and Patti Breland, who own Breland Homes; Lee and Kim Greenwood; Meredith Iler, Founder of Helping A Hero home program; and Dale Strong, Chairman of Madison County Commission.

For more information, visit helpingahero.org or Facebook/American Legion Post 229, Madison, Alabama.

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