Natural Stone Institute Completes 47th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 47th 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 Corporal and Police Officer Sharif Muzayen were provided by UMI and Florida Custom Marble.

Muzayen enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008 and served for five years. He was deployed to Afghanistan, where he held multiple positions including becoming a Non-Commission Officer in Charge in the Cross Unit Combat Operations Center as the liaison between American Armed Forces and the Afghan Units. In 2013, Muzayen was honorably discharged as a Corporal.

After leaving the Marine Corps, Muzayen immediately began pre-academy training at the Orange Police Department. Upon completion of field training, Muzayen requested to specialize in identifying and arresting suspected DUI drivers. Before his injuries, Muzayen was successful in arresting 75 individuals for driving under the influence. On December 10, 2016, while responding to a report of a possible drunk driver, Muzayen was struck by another oncoming drunk driver while pulling forms from his vehicle. The collision left him with a broken tibia, fibula, a severed femoral artery and a brain hemorrhage.

After many weeks in recovery and the support of his family, Muzayen was released to go home, where he would begin a two-year journey of rehabilitation with physical therapy and undergo multiple surgeries. In December 2019, Muzayen underwent surgery to have his left leg amputated above the knee. Today, Muzayen and his family reside in St. Mary’s, Georgia. Muzayen hopes to complete his degree in biology and ultimately get a doctorate in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians. In his downtime, Muzayen enjoys playing board games, watching movies, and playing video games with his family.

Companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to email [email protected]. To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, products, and services to this cause, visit

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