On March 16, 2012, during his fourth deployment, Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Montera was on a mission in Afghanistan when an enemy mortar round hit a detonation cord causing a secondary explosion. The blast threw SFC Montera 50 feet, resulting in second and third degree burns on 60 percent of his body, a broken neck, broken legs, orbital fracture, a blast lung and spinal cord injury. He underwent many surgeries including the amputation of both legs above the knee, extensive skin grafting and physical therapy.
Christopher faces many challenges in his daily routine. In his current home, his wheelchair is too large to move freely from room to room, showering is difficult and cooking is dangerous. That’s where Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) steps in to alleviate many of his challenges and allow Christopher to focus on rebuilding his life.
HFOT is building a specially adapted, mortgage-free home for Christopher with widened doorways and hallways, hardwood flooring and a roll-in shower. The home will also allow him to have a fenced in yard or enclosed area for Christopher’s service dog Simon. Without the worry about his mobility, Christopher will be able to concentrate on school and pursue a career. He is currently studying video and film at Southwestern College.
Christopher, along with the countless other severely injured veterans, is the reason Ferguson has signed on as a National Partner with Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). Supporting the military through Homes for Our Troops is not that different from what we do every day – providing what it takes to keep a wide range of good things going, making everyone’s lives better. In addition to a monetary contribution, Ferguson will donate product from its vast inventory of plumbing and lighting products.
“Many Ferguson associates bravely serve, or have served in our Armed Forces. We are very proud and grateful,” said Ferguson CEO Frank Roach. “It is because of our associates and customers that we are establishing this meaningful new partnership and we are both honored and humbled by the opportunity to support our Veterans and their families.”
With the partnership, Ferguson associates will have the opportunity to positively affect the lives of severely injured service men and women through local events across the country, such as Community Kickoffs, Volunteer Days and Key Ceremonies.
Tim McHale, President and CEO of Homes for Our Troops, says he looks forward to the partnership, one that reinforces America’s commitment and duty to take care of its veterans. “Because of sponsors like Ferguson, our veterans do not have to worry about a mortgage, and become empowered to focus on recovering and rebuilding their lives.”
Homes for Our Troops serves post-9/11 veterans with missing limbs, varying levels of paralysis, blindness and traumatic brain injury. Homes are equipped with more than 40 major special adaptations, including wider halls and doorways, safe rooms, roll under sinks and counters and pull down shelving, and are designed to help Veterans live independently. Since its inception in 2004, HFOT has built more than 200 homes nationwide with 52 Veterans on the active project list.
Part of Ferguson’s community engagement mission focuses on supporting the military and Veterans. The company has existing partnerships with American Supply Association’s (ASA) Operation Rise and Conquer and Virginia Veteran and Family Support. Ferguson also annually hosts a company-wide initiative to support military families during the holidays.