Wounded Army veteran and his family move into accessible, mortgage-free home in Silverthorne
SILVERTHORNE — Sgt. Brandon Adam, his wife and two daughters moved into their new home Saturday, Feb. 15, in Silverthorne. The home is customized for Adam, who lost both his legs during his service in the U.S. Army after enlisting following the 9/11 attacks.
“After (9/11), it was something I had to do,” Adam said in a news release. “It was the best decision I ever made, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Adam lost his legs during his second tour of duty in Iraq when his vehicle hit an explosive. His family’s new home has been built to allow Adam to live as independently as possible. The single-level home is wheelchair accessible, has an automatic front door and accessories like a stove that can be raised and lowered to wheelchair height.
The home was built and paid for by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation as part of its Smart Home Program.
Foundation spokesman Trevor Tamsen said Adam was recommended by a friend, and the foundation contacted him.
“The process started about three years ago when he got into the program,” Tamsen said. “And then we work with a veteran to find a place to live, to find a piece of land, and then they’re very involved in the process.”
Adam and his family were living in Woodland Park, near Colorado Springs, at the time.
“I have a friend that I compete in sled hockey with that was a recipient,” Adam said. “When it all started, they just asked me where I wanted to have my forever home. My family and I have been traveling up to Copper Mountain for the last 10 years.”
Adam said Summit County is a fun and practical fit for the family. Adam travels for sled hockey as a member of the Colorado Avalanche’s triple-A sled hockey team, and he is training to make Team USA’s national sled hockey team this summer. His wife is a school teacher, and Adam said she hopefully will work in the local school district once they are settled in. The family also values recreation.
“We’re pretty active people, that’s how I spend time with my kids,” Adam said.
Tamsen said that during the home-building process, participants can pick out details like paint and tiles. He pointed out that in addition to the technology that allows Adam to use the kitchen or automatically open the front door, there is plenty of space for Adam to completely turn around his wheelchair and there are no bumps in the floor he has to go over.
“Every single room in this house is built for my chair to be able to do a 360,” Adam said. “The bathrooms are fully accessible. Everything about this place is beyond what I thought it was going to be.”
“He can get back a lot of independence,” Tamsen said.
The Tunnels to Towers Foundation runs three main programs that have to do with people’s homes: the Smart Home Program that Adam was involved in; the Fallen First Responder Program, which aims to pay off the mortgages of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty who leave behind young children; and the Gold Star Family Home Program, which provides mortgage-free homes to the families of service members killed in the line of duty who have small children. The foundation payed off the mortgage for the Jones family after the death of Summit Fire & EMS firefighter Ken Jones.
“I’m excited to be part of this community, and I’m going to definitely try to get involved,” Adam said.
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