Wednesday, July 1, 2015 was an incredibly special day for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The day began with a home dedication ceremony for US Army SGT Adam Keys, a triple amputee, in Annapolis, Maryland. From the moment Adam stepped out of the van, a sense of pride filled the air. That’s right, you read the previous statement correctly. Adam STEPPED out of the van! He blew away the ceremony’s attendees by walking down his driveway on prosthetics to the ceremony stage. Tears of joy were shed by those closest to Adam, knowing how far he has come in his recovery. Adam’s walk up his driveway to his smart home set the tone of the rest of the day.
The ceremony was beautiful. Many of the organizations and companies that came together to assist the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to build this beautiful smart home for Adam spoke about their commitment, not only to Adam, but to other catastrophically injured service members associated with the Foundation’s Building for America’s Bravest program. The most touching speeches of the day came from Adam and his mother Julie. Their genuine appreciation for the support that Adam has received since his injury was heartfelt and touching. The joy and gratitude on their faces is why we do what we do here at the Foundation.
After the ceremony, the Tunnel to Towers staff enjoyed lunch with Adam, his family, and all those who helped make the smart home possible. It was a great afternoon filled with good food and good conversation. After lunch, the group hung out on Adam’s back deck – everyone just taking it all in and enjoying the view. Adam could not have been happier to host friends in his new home. So much excitement and love for Adam and the Keys family could be felt through each conversation and every laugh. These are the kind of moments the staff treasures most!
After leaving Adam’s new smart home, the day was far from over! We had another important home visit to make! From Adam’s home, we drove to Lovettsville, Virginia where Cpl. Ronny Porta’s smart home was getting the finishing touches and days away from being gifted to the Porta family just in time for the Fourth of July! Our staff is not the type to sit around and let the contractors and their team do all of the work. Everyone pitched in to help complete the home for a family we have all grown to love since meeting Ronny, his wife, Dacy, and their son, Kenneth a few years back. Staff members cleaned the inside of cabinets, mopped floors, cleaned up the garage, and made the home look spectacular. It was such a joy to have Ronny, Dacy, and Kenneth with us while we worked. Dacy excitedly gave a tour of her new home and Ronny just beamed from ear to ear. Kenneth was already making himself at home – ready to get his toys moved in to begin playing in his beautiful, blue bedroom that he was so proud to show off!
We cannot begin to describe what days like this mean to the staff at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. We love what we do because we love the people we do it for. To see the excitement from both the Keys and Porta families was a huge gift to all of us – memories that will never be forgotten. We are blessed to be part of their lives.
“Let Us Do Good”
Photo Credit: Nicole DeLeon