Groundbreaking Ceremony for CPL Tyler Huffman, USMC

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and The Gary Sinise Foundation
Works With The Jefferson City Community to Build Smart Home
For Paralyzed Veteran, CPL Tyler Huffman, USMC

Groundbreaking Ceremony for CPL Tyler Huffman, USMC 
May 18, 2012 at 11:00am 
Location: 1117 Martin Way, Jefferson City, Missouri 65109

Jefferson City, Missouri.  The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Jefferson City Community today announce the selection of the homebuilding industry’s quality leader, Signature Homes, Inc. to build a beautiful new ‘smart home’ for a 24-year old, paralyzed veteran, CPL Tyler Huffman, USMC in Jefferson City, Missouri.  A groundbreaking ceremony for the uniquely designed ‘smart home’ is slated for Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. The general public is encouraged to attend.

Jefferson City officials along with representatives from the foundations, donors, contractors and Signature Homes will host the May 18th celebration in honor of American Hero, CPL Tyler Huffman who was paralyzed after being shot in Afghanistan by a sniper on December 3, 2010.

Tyler Huffman states, “I’m truly blessed and honored that these organizations are coming together to help give me more independence through this smart home.” He further stated, “I’m most looking forward to the ‘Man Cave.’  But, I’m also looking forward to easier accessibility throughout the house with things such as hardwood floors, which makes it easier for me to get around verses carpet where I’m currently living.  I sincerely want to thank the Jefferson City community for embracing me so much even prior to me moving to Jefferson City.  I will be proud to call Jefferson City, home.” 

Huffman was given a plot of land by local Jefferson City philanthropist, Joe Twehous.  Mr. Twehous and Coach Pete Adkins have been driving this effort at the community level.  Many local contractors have also come to the table with commitments to donate materials and services to complete this project.  Some of the local companies include: Signature Homes, Frank Twehous Excavating, Farmer’s Concrete, Cole Co. Industries, Nathan Voss Concrete, Mainline Fire Protection, Scruggs Lumber, Mid-America Truss, Quaker Window, Rusk Home Improvement, Mid-West Block and Brick, Jerry Raithel Plumbing, Winnelson, DKB, Ken Sandbothe Plumbing, Stokes Electric, IBEW Local 257, B&H Well Drilling, Bemboom Heating, Martellaro Marble and Granite, Sheetmetal Workers Local #36, and many, many more.

“We are honored that Tyler is allowing Signature Homes, Inc. to build his home,” said Scott Schaeperkoetter, President. “Our team is committed to working with our subcontractors and vendors to create an exceptional home for an extremely deserving American hero.”
The groundbreaking ceremony will consist of a one-hour program with speakers from the Jefferson City, The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation, Signature Homes and special guests. 

In 2011, The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation partnered in efforts to build Smart Homes for 3 Quadruple Amputees.  In 2012 they have partnered on 9 additional homes for very severely wounded warriors from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To date they have completed one home for SPC. Brendan Marrocco on June 11, 2011, in Staten Island, and expect to turn over the keys on June 30th, 2012 at The Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, for CPL. Todd Nicely.  This year they will start raising funds for homes in Brooklyn, NY, Albany, NY, Ararat, VA, Jefferson City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Marrietta, OH, and Whitehall, PA.

Says Sinise, “All of us at the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation are grateful to the Jefferson City community for supporting our ‘Building For America’s Bravest’ Program.  This smart home will honor Tyler’s heroism by providing him with a more independent lifestyle which will, in turn enable him to lead the best life possible with his wife and son. I also want to invite everyone to come to our July 27th, Lt. Dan Band Benefit Concert at Apple Creek to thank Tyler Huffman for his service and sacrifice for our nation.”

Adds Frank Siller, Chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, “We can’t thank the wonderful citizens of Jefferson City enough for their efforts in helping Tyler.  Thanks to their generosity, we are able to break ground on Tyler’s house this week.”

Fast Facts:

  • CPL Tyler Huffman, age 23, has a wife, Melissa and a 2 ½ year old son, Matthew
  • Huffman was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan on December 3, 2010
  • Huffman has had 2 surgeries since the accident.
  • The Gary Sinise Foundation is dedicated to serving the Nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. For more information, go to www.GarySiniseFoundation.org.
  • The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, best known for its annual Tunnel to Towers Run at Ground Zero in New York City, is committed to building specially-adapted “smart homes” for the most seriously wounded U.S. service personnel through its “Building for America’s Bravest” program. For more information, go to www.TunneltoTowers.org.