FOX Business’ Liz Claman was honored for her work with Building Homes for Heroes at a GALA in New York City on Thursday.
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Building Homes for Heroes is a national non-profit organization that helps build or modify homes, mortgage-free to veterans and their families.
On Veterans Day, Claman asked military service members and family how the organization helped them in their times of need.
Lt. Col. Melchizedek ‘Kato’ Martinez was injured in the terrorist attack at the Brussels airport in 2006, where his wife Gail Minglana was tragically killed.
Martinez reflected on how Building Homes for Heroes came through for him and his family.
“Totally surprised. Air Force Special Operations Command called me up and asked me ‘hey, would you mind if we passed your name to special organization?’ They didn’t even mention it was Building Homes for Heroes. The next thing I know I’m coming home from the hospital and that’s when I found out,” he told Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
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Kato’s daughter, Kianni Martinez, nearly lost her leg in the Brussels’ terror attack.
“When we lost my mom, my siblings came up to me and asked, what are we going to do now? Who’s going to take care of us? There was only so much I could do and tell them, that I could protect them. So when Building Homes for Heroes came into the picture and said we are going to provide you a home but not only that, we’re your new family and we are going to be there for you every step of the way, that just gave me a sigh of relief because we weren’t alone,” Martinez said.
U.S. Army Specialist Hugo Gonzalez was injured in Iraq after an improvised explosive device hit his patrol vehicle, which caused him brain trauma, a sinus bone fracture and a crushed optic nerve in his right eye.
Gonzalez said Building Homes for Heroes created a unique home for him, so he would have an easier time getting around the house.
“There is a secret pass code that I learned how to input the codes so I could get entrance into the house. On top of the house there are some wood frames all around the house that serve me as a guide. But also each and every place on the house has a different square on the floor so my cane and I can perceive where we’re going, different lighting so with my peripheral vision I can tell one place from another,” he said.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. The organization’s goal is to provide 200 homes to veterans before 2020.