WEATHERFORD, Texas — Veteran Charlotte Ferris and her four children have a new reason to be thankful this holiday season.
Ferris is one of the latest Dallas-Fort Worth area veterans to receive a custom-built, mortgage-free house through nonprofit organization Operation FINALLY HOME, and the generosity of builders and manufacturers including McBee Homes and TAMKO Building Products, Inc.
Last week, Ferris was surprised with a groundbreaking at the site of her new home. Believing they were going for a preliminary interview with Operation FINALLY HOME, Ferris and her family were greeted with a cheering crowd, an American flag flying high over the site and plenty of tears.
This is the first time TAMKO has participated in an Operation FINALLY HOME project, and is donating the roof for Specialist Ferris’ new home. TAMKO has a long history of supporting veterans – veterans make up 15 percent of the company’s workforce, and TAMKO has provided financial and flight support for both the Hero Flights and Honor Flights organizations. TAMKO has a manufacturing facility in Dallas, and a growing corporate extension office in Irving, Texas.
“Specialist Ferris, and others like her, are American heroes, and it’s our great honor to say ‘Thank You’ in this way,” said TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys. “This is especially meaningful to us because it’s in the Dallas-area that we’ve called home for more than 30 years.”
Operation FINALLY HOME has completed 151 mortgage¬free homes and 18 home modifications, and has an additional 50 projects either under construction or in planning. The nonprofit partners with builder associations, builders, developers, corporate sponsors and volunteers to raise the funds, provide materials and complete the planning and labor for each project. Each home is custom-built to accommodate the physical needs of wounded veterans, and then provided mortgage-free to veterans and widows of the fallen. In addition to TAMKO, this project was made possible through the generosity of several businesses in the region, including McBee Homes, the lead builder on the project, and financial contributors Heritage Real Estate and Roger Williams Automall.
“We are so blessed to work with great builders, builders associations and manufacturers such as TAMKO to lift the burden of a mortgage off the shoulders of our wounded veterans,” said Dan Wallrath, founder of Operation FINALLY HOME. “While Specialist Ferris will not have a mortgage, she has certainly paid a price for this home.”
While deployed in Iraq, Specialist Ferris was driving an armored truck that was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Ferris searched for her crew, who all survived, before realizing her ankle was broken and her ear drum ruptured. She was medically evacuated and underwent surgery.
Ferris was recalled to active duty but was deemed medically unfit due to her injuries. She suffers from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, post-concussive headaches, an ankle fracture and tinnitus. For her service and bravery, Ferris was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as the Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Ferris and her four children currently live in White Settlement, Texas. Together they enjoy playing musical instruments and having tea parties.
Operation FINALLY HOME and McBee Homes expect Ferris’ new home to be completed in 2019.
“We are deeply honored to have been asked to build a dream home for an American Hero, and even more humbled by the love and generosity shown by all of our employees, sub-contractors and vendors,” said Mearl McBee, founder/owner of McBee Homes. “We had 100 percent participation by every trade in our system in creating a home that Charlotte Ferris and her children will enjoy for many years to come.”
The project is just one of many whereby people in the roofing industry have stepped up to help those in need. Roofing Contractor featured a story in its November issue about others, such as ABC Supply Co. and Owens Corning.