In September U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Kirstie Ennis took her first steps into her new home in Glenwood Springs, Colo. Built by RM Construction, it is the 124th mortgage-free home gifted by Building Homes for Heroes (BHH). The home is ENERGY STAR certified; all energy-efficiency systems were designed and built to work together, including windows and doors donated from Pella Corp.
“When Building Homes for Heroes called, within 15 minutes I said yes,” says Bob Gibson, owner of RM Construction. “I then in turn started calling all of our vendors, and Pella called back wanting to know more and how to help.”
“After talking with Bob, and a few more phone calls later, we jumped in to determine the best option for Kirstie’s new home,” adds Alan Wolf, general manager, of Pella Windows & Doors of Colorado, the local sales and service branch for Pella. “We applaud Kirstie’s service to our country and the tenacity that she applies to her life, and we wanted to honor that with our service and products.”
Ennis’s three-bedroom home includes 17 Pella Impervia windows, a Pella Impervia sliding patio door and two entry doors by Pella, all donated to the project. They offer the design style, ease of use, energy efficiency and durability required to accommodate Ennis’s needs. An aerial gunner, she has undergone more than 44 surgeries, including an above-knee amputation, since a 2012 helicopter crash in Afganistan.
BHH builds and gifts mortgage-free homes and completes home modifications for veterans and their families, and provides further services along their road to recovery to help them live fulfilling lives. “We started this organization to restore hope in our veterans that return from serving our country,” says Andy Pujol, founder of BHH. “The assistance that we get from companies like Pella and RM Construction helps us achieve our goal of helping vets like Sergeant Ennis. We’re thrilled to present her with a mortgage-free home.”
“Pella has a history of supporting our veterans; those who work in our manufacturing facilities and sales offices around the country and those in need, like Kirstie,” adds Wolf.
Despite her circumstances, Ennis has not become defined by her injuries. She completed a 72-day trek across Britain for Prince Harry’s Walking with the Wounded charity event. She is also the first war veteran and amputee to be featured in the ESPN “Body Issue,” and she is currently training for the 2018 Winter Paralympics, which prompted the need for a home in Colorado.
During her key ceremony, Ennis talked about all the temporary places she has lived that could never be called home. “Receiving a home from BHH opens the door to my future,” she says. “It will provide me the platform to be able to continue serving people, the foundation to have a family, and the opportunity grow past my injuries.”