NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Army Cpl. Christopher Bales is hard to rattle, but he received an “overwhelming” surprise on Sunday during the inaugural “Salute to Service” game.
Cpl. Bales received a game ball from the Titans during an emotional on-field presentation that included a robust, standing ovation from fans at LP Field and a special surprise announcement.
Operation FINALLY HOME joined with LP Building Products, country music star Kix Brooks and American Country Countdown to announce that Cpl. Bales’ family will be one of six to receive a mortgage-free, custom-built house for veterans across the country in the next two years. Brooks delivered the announcement in a video message.
“I really wasn’t expecting that,” Cpl. Bales said. “I was told to come out here, and to be honored with the whole ball ceremony, I wasn’t quite expecting that either. I think they told me about it, but it just didn’t sink in. Thank you guys for everything.”
Operation FINALLY HOME is an award-winning program that was founded in 2005 to help wounded heroes and their families’ transition back from combat.
After completing tours of duty in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, Cpl. Bales redeployed to Afghanistan in 2010. He was patrolling in an ATV and noticed that fellow soldiers were proceeding into an ambush. Cpl. Bales drove himself into harm’s way to draw the enemy’s fire.
Cpl. Bales was immediately shot in the lower back with the bullet lodging into his hip and later shot in his left thigh, which damaged nerves that provide mobility and control of his lower left leg.
“It’s something that, I don’t know, you just kind of react, and I guess that’s what I did: react,” Cpl. Bales said. “There were people who were being shot at. I knew I could do something to help by getting in the middle and just did my best.”
The father of three sons said the training he received at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Campbell, Ky., prepared him to do what he did when the moment called for it. Cpl. Bales received a Purple Heart for the wounds he suffered in combat.
The home for the Bales family will be built in Las Vegas, Nev. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and be completed in January 2014.
“It is an honor for LP Building Products to be a part of this collaborative effort to provide homes for six of our nation’s veterans,” said Rick Olszewski, executive vice president of specialty products, sales and marketing. “Providing a house for a soldier is much more than constructing a building, it’s about coming together as communities and industries with respect and gratitude to create a home where these soldiers and their families can heal and thrive.”
About Operation FINALLY HOME
Operation FINALLY HOME is an award-winning program created by Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops. Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops was established in 2005 as a non-partisan/non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops mission is to provide custom made mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen in an effort to get their lives back on track and become productive members of their communities. Bay Area Builders Association Support Our Troops partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help severely wounded heroes and their families’ transition from the battlefront to the home front and help them succeed in their challenging new world so they may ultimately enjoy a productive and rewarding life. For more information, visit operationfinallyhome.org.
For more information including ongoing updates on the build, visit FinallyHomeUSA.com or Facebook.com/FinallyHomeUSA. To donate, text OFH to 85944 and reply yes to confirm a $10 gift to help build mortgage free homes for America's war wounded and the widows of the fallen.
About LP Building Products
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX. Visit lpcorp.com for more information.
About American Country Countdown
Hosted by superstar Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, ACC is a countdown of Country music’s Top 30 songs. Heard on more than 300 stations nationwide, the show also proudly airs on the American Forces Radio Network. For additional features and interviews visit americancountrycountdown.com.