The Natural Stone Institute, along with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), have provided natural stone and fabrication services for a veteran’s home in Virginia. The R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. To date, Natural Stone Institute members have been involved in 26 completed homes.
Natural stone and fabrication services for Retired Army Major Jeremy Haynes were provided by MARVA, Virginia Marble & Granite, Washington Marble & Granite, and BMJ Stone.
Growing up in Albany, Georgia, Jeremy Haynes watched the horrific events of September 11, 2001 unfold from his Marine Corps JROTC class. That day, he vowed to serve his country. Jeremy went on to earn a scholarship to Georgia Military College and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He deployed to Afghanistan, leaving at home his two children and then-pregnant wife, Chelsea. On a mission in Kabul on August 5, 2014, an Afghan Military Soldier shot Jeremy four times, including once in his back. The shot to his spine severed Jeremy’s vena cava and 80 percent of the nerves to his lower extremities, paralyzing both legs. He has faced a long and painful recovery. One day, Jeremy wrote “I WILL WALK AGAIN” on a sheet of paper. He stared at that paper for hours and every day after. Now, through Chelsea’s inspiration to heal, Jeremy can stand and walk for short periods with adaptive equipment. This specially adapted smart home will allow Jeremy to continue to progress in reclaiming his independence.
59 Natural Stone Institute members have donated their time, products and services to this cause since 2016. A list of all donors can be found at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE. Stone companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at [email protected]