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Building Homes For Heroes to renovate house, its 200th, for wounded veteran in Connecticut

By PETER MARTEKA | The Hartford Courant | Published: September 25, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Building Homes For Heroes is back in Glastonbury, Connecticut, this time providing a mortgage-free home for Massachusetts veteran U.S. Army Spc. Craig Hall.

This will be the New York-based group’s second home in Connecticut. In 2013, the group provided a home for U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Greg Caron, an Ellington High School graduate, who lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. This is Glastonbury’s second home for a wounded veteran. In 2012, Purple Heart Homes built a house for Marine veteran and New Britain native Manny Jimenez.

The group made the announcement during the Glastonbury town council meeting Tuesday. The house will be renovated by Nordic Builders Of Tolland, LLC. The house was gutted and renovation work has begun.

Hall and his fiancee hope to move into the new home by Thanksgiving.

Owner Liz Koiva said Building Homes For Heroes is “an incredible group of people.”

“All the money they raise pretty much to the penny goes back to the vets which is incredible to watch,” she said. “We are so proud to be part of this project. It’s our way to give back for all they have given to this country. ... Hopefully he will be a little — or a lot — surprised."

Hall, who worked clearing improvised explosive devices in Iraq, was on a mission in 2007 when an IED exploded under his tank. The blast shattered his foot and lower left leg. His leg was amputated and he was fitted with a prosthetic leg and, eventually, a bionic leg that helps him walk.

Town Councilman Kurt P. Cavanaugh said he was “very proud” that the group selected Glastonbury and invited Hall for a round of golf. Council Chairman Thomas P. Gullotta donated $1,000 from his Connecticut River Book Auctions to the group.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this town,” Hall said. “It has a reputation of being one of the most beautiful towns in all of Connecticut.”

David Weingrad, a spokesman for the group, said the entire community will be invited to a welcome home event in November.

“We plan to have a very happy celebration when we do this," he said. “We’ve had nice community support so far. It has really been overwhelming the show of support we’ve received from the entire community from so many.”

Weingrad said the effort began with a goal of gifting one home to one injured veteran. This will be the 200th home by the organization, which has expanded its goal to gifting one home every 11 days across the United States.

Peter Marteka can be reached at pmarteka@courant.com.

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