OBERLIN, OH --The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 41st home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100% mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brian Schiefer were provided by Triton Stone Group and Stone Interiors. 

Brian Schiefer decided to join the Air Force as a high school junior and began training about one month after graduation. During his career, he formed a brotherhood with his team and became a mentor to many fellow service members. On November 11, 2008, while on a pre-deployment training exercise to Fort Irwin, CA, Brian took some younger members out into the field to conduct Live Close Air Support. Upon their return, his vehicle slid out and rolled over, throwing Brian from the truck.

This crash caused Brian to spend five weeks in the ICU and he underwent a 16-hour surgery to stabilize his spine. After five months of inpatient and six months of outpatient therapy, he had to adjust to his new life as a paraplegic. Brian considers the nurses who took care of him at the various hospitals his true heroes. His parents’ love and devotion and his own determination kept him moving forward.

Brian sits on several medical research and technology panels to give a voice to patients with injuries similar to his own. He is fighting for all spinal cord injured patients to receive the top-quality care and transitional support they need. He hopes to continue spreading awareness, paving the way for others with similar injuries, and continuing to live his life to the fullest. 

Companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to email rise@naturalstoneinstitute.org. To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, products, and services to this cause, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE