(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Dozens of people gathered at the Bend Elks Lodge on Saturday as the national nonprofit organization Homes For Our Troops kicked off the building of a specially adapted home in Bend for Army Sergeant Christopher Chatwin, who was injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The community kickoff event, delayed from last month due to the snowstorm in the area, signified the start of the build process and introduced Chatwin to the community.
Chris went on five combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the course of his deployments, he sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In 2012, Chris was diagnosed with neuro, cardio, pulmonary and orthopedic sarcoidosis caused from the extended exposure to burn pits during his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The condition causes bi-lateral leg limb salvage, left arm and hand limb salvage, hemi-paralysis, and internal injuries.
The home being built for SGT Chatwin will feature more than 40 major special adaptations, such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops.
The home will also alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or over thresholds, or reaching for cabinets that are too high.
HFOT has built 370 homes since the organization’s inception in 2004. Homes For Our Troops relies on contributions from donors, supporters, and corporate partners for the building of each Veteran’s home. Community members may hold fundraisers or make donations. To find out more on how to get involved or make a donation, visit www.hfotusa.org.
Read more about SGT Chatwin at https://www.hfotusa.org/building-homes/veterans/chatwin/.