Natural Stone Institute Completes 43rd Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 43rd home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Stuart DiPaolo and his family were provided by Quality Marble & Granite and Andrew Lauren Surfaces.

During a training exercise in 2015 at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Stuart DiPaolo was navigating an all-terrain vehicle when he lost control on the weathered course. Rain had pelted the area the day before, causing conditions on the ground to be more challenging to navigate than initially assessed. When his vehicle began to go up an embankment, Stuart made the split-second decision to bail out as the best course of action for his overall safety. Upon jumping from the vehicle and landing on the ground, the vehicle then rolled over on its side, where the roll bar ended up crushing his head. When medical help arrived, every bone in his face was broken and his right-side carotid artery was severed. His neck was broken and his left eye was detached from the optical nerve. 

Since his injury in 2015 and following surgeries and setbacks in treatments, his wife Michelline and their two daughters, Kaylee and Audrey, have empowered Stuart on his road to recovery. While his left arm and left leg are paralyzed and with limited vision in his right eye after losing eyesight in his left, Stuart is intent on being the rock in the family and serving as a mentor to other wounded service members battling physical and psychological wounds that come with life-changing traumatic injuries. This specially adapted smart home will not only ease his daily struggles and mobility needs, but it will also enable him to spend more time with his family and supporting their needs instead of his own.