#52tuesdays: Purple Heart Homes | SHARE Charlotte

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#52tuesdays: Purple Heart Homes

Written by Addie Rising    on December 12, 2017    in
When a member of our military is injured, what are their next steps? Many times they are forced out of active duty and faced with life-changing injuries.

The founders of Purple Heart Homes, John Gallina and Dale Beatty, know first-hand what the challenges are. The two were wounded when a mine detonated through the floor of their Humvee in northern Iraq in 2004. Beatty lost both legs below the knees. Gallina suffered brain trauma.

Purple Heart Homes helps veterans like Benjamin Wardip (left) and his family with home repairs.Many injured veterans need new homes when they return. Others need improvements to their homes, especially as they age and can't do repairs themselves. But too often they get no aid.

Purple Heart Homes assists service-connected disabled veterans with the necessary steps to purchase a home or renovate their current home so they can live with dignity and independence. Purple Heart Homes intends to help as many N.C. veterans in need as possible.

“We believe that the biggest challenge [for veterans] is to feel normal again,” Gallina said. “When you serve in the military, you grow in ways that 95 percent of the population are unable to relate to. There’s a sharp contrast from being deployed to living in the civilian world. Family and friends are quick to say, ‘You seem different. You’ve changed.’ We don’t want to feel different. We just try to feel comfortable with people who may never understand our experiences.”

A suitable home is often the first step to veterans regaining confidence and obtaining a better quality of life.

“We serve veterans who wouldn’t be able to get help elsewhere,” Beatty said. “The work we do can inspire other great things to take place. Our organization started with an idea, now we have so many people who have adopted our mission and continue to carrying it out. It’s important for any and all communities to set an example of caring for the issues in our country.”

Photo courtesy Purple Heart Homes: Purple Heart Homes helps veterans like Benjamin Wardip (left) and his family with home repairs.