The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (CSAH), the leading nongovernmental provider of emergency financial aid for severely wounded veterans from the War on Terror, has stepped in to donate $40,000 to help build a new handicapped accessible home for a severely wounded Iraq veteran.
Lt. Erasimo Valles, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) was wounded in Iraq in March of 2004 when the Humvee that he was riding in ran over an anti-tank mine. The engine was shoved into his lap, trapping him inside the vehicle. Somehow he managed to pull himself out only to find that his legs were turned around in the opposite direction.
“My first thought was that I needed to survive so that I could see my newborn son, Lorenzo Joseph, who was six weeks old and I had not yet met,” said Lt. Valles.
Valles lost one leg in the incident, and is in danger of losing another. The home that he and his wife shared with their three children was not handicap accessible, and proved to be a problem for the wounded hero.
This is when the Bay Area Builders Association and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes stepped in.
“The Bay Area Builders Association began building handicap accessible homes for wounded veterans from the War on Terror in 2005,” said Dan Wallrath, President of the Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops, Inc., which was started by the Bay Area Builders Association. “We are extremely honored and excited to be able to build this home for Lt. Valles and his family. It is the least we could do to honor his courageous sacrifice. This project would not have been possible without the generous donations from the suppliers, contractors, the community, and of course the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.”
The costs of building this home is estimated to be around $300,000 of which there was a large amount raised by suppliers and contractors, but $41,400 was still needed to pay for the lot. This is where CSAH stepped in and donated the remainder to pay for the land.
“The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes works tirelessly every day to ensure that our wounded heroes are taken care of once they return home injured from overseas,” said Tom Palma, general manager for CSAH. “When an opportunity presents itself like this one, we are proud to be such an integral part in a dream being made a reality for a courageous veteran and his family.”
Currently, Lt. Valles resides in San Antonio, TX with his wife Sandra and their three children, Ty Allen, Lorenzo Joseph and Tatianna SE.
About the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is a 501 (c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the severely wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families rebuild their lives. The organization is the top nongovernmental association helping wounded troops from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and since its 2004 inception, has assisted over 4,500 troops.
Over $5 million dollars has been distributed to date to prevent car repossessions and utility shut-offs while trips to sporting events, entertainment parks, and shows help service members boost morale, break the boredom of the routine of recuperation and help reintegrate wounded troops into civilian life. The annual all expense paid Road to Recovery Conference provides seminars, career counseling, job fairs, evaluations, and inspirational success stories.
CSAH has partnered with numerous celebrities including LeAnn Rimes, Dave Matthews Band, Gary Sinise, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels, Regis Philbin and Big & Rich and Fortune 500 corporations like Kellogg’s, GNC and GM, to help further our cause.