The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 23rd home with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. To date, Natural Stone Institute members have been involved in twenty-three completed homes.
Natural stone and fabrication services for USMC Corporal Chad Watson and his family in Illinois were provided by MSI, Eden Stone, and The Countertop Factory Midwest.
Chad Watson was on combat patrol in the Al Anbar Province of Fallujah, Iraq on November 29, 2006 when the Humvee he was driving hit an IED. Chad traumatically lost his right leg above the knee. He shattered his left foot and ankle and was struck in the fact and right eye by shrapnel. Despite these horrific injuries, Chad has given new meaning to the word perseverance. He spent the following 22 months going through multiple surgeries and intense recovery. Throughout this time he was supported by his family and his now wife, Jillian, who left her Master’s program to be by his side. The couple now has three children. In the spring of 2016, Chad graduated with his MBA from Notre Dame and accepted a position with Medtronic Spine and Biologics. His job requires frequent walking, which causes stress on his left leg if using his prosthetic for long periods of time. The specially adapted smart home provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation will ease his daily pain and provide a safe place where he and his family can live comfortably and independently.
Laura Grandlienard (ROCKin’teriors), chair of the Natural Stone Institute R.I.S.E. committee said: “Being involved with the R.I.S.E. program enables our industry to take a leadership role in supporting these veterans and their families who have endured so much to protect our freedoms. We feel tremendous pride in sharing our talents for such an important cause. It’s a beautiful feeling to say ‘welcome home’ to these heroes.”
56 Natural Stone Institute members have donated their time, products, and services to this cause since 2016. A list of all donors can be found at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE. Stone companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at email@example.com.