SSG William Castillo receives home from Building Homes for Heroes
Purple Heart recipient, SSG William Castillo and his family were presented with the gift of a home from Building Homes For Heroes this morning in Orlando. It was with great joy that family members, fellow Responders, Building Homes For Heroes partners, contractors, participating building volunteers, TV crews, newspaper photographers, students, friends and neighbors crowded the streets to share in the excitement of honoring a true American hero.
OS91 Founder, Ed Ganster congratulating William
The Castillo family was brought to the Event in a Fire truck and Emergency Vehicle and welcomed amidst enthusiastic cheers and claps. And just like on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition the crowd yelled, "Move that Firetruck!" for the great reveal: a beautiful retrofitted home with many features to make life easier for William, who lost his leg trying to save his buddies after their vehicle was blown up by an IED in Iraq.
"Move that Firetruck!!!"
William spoke and touched the hearts of all as he assured all present that he did not do what he did for thanks, but to defend our country. He also honored the memory of the two brave young men who paid the ultimate price when they were attacked, introducing the mother and sisters of one of those men: David Kirkpatrick. Eleven year old daughter, Andrea, then took the microphone and thanked all who participated in the building/retrofitting process and then gave special thanks to Andy Pujol, founder of Building Homes for Heroes, represented by BHFH Board member, Chad. William emphasized that there are so many more soldiers who need homes and encouraged all of us to support Building Homes For Heroes.
View from balcony stairs
All were then invited to tour the home and enjoy seeing the results of the hours of labor so generously donated by a contractor, fellow responders and skilled laborers.
Testing the waters
Some students from New Hope Christian Academy, Minneola, FL
participated in Event
During the 2008-2009 School year, Operation Safety 91 brought William, along with local Responders, Law Enforcement and Firefighters to speak to the students of New Hope Christian Academy (NHCA), an ACE Scool located in Minneola, FL. http://operationsafety91.blogspot.com/2010/04/os91-brings-us-hero-william-castillo-to.html
Some of these students were able to attend this homecoming Event today, allowing them to experience first hand a true American hero and the fulfillment of the American dream for this courageous Army Ranger.
(Left to right) Chad of BHFH, William Castillo, cutie pie, Mary Ganster,
Katherine Castillo and Ed Ganster, OS91 Founder
Operation Safety 91 congratulates William Castillo on this true blessing of a beautiful home just for him!