OBERLIN, OH – The Natural Stone Institute and its members contributed to its 49th completed home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program, which builds 100% mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.

Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Army Captain Jason Church were provided by Terrazzo & Marble Supply, Grazzini Brothers & Company, Halquist Stone and Eden Valders Stone. 

Church is a third-generation soldier. He moved from La Crosse, WI, to Fort Benning, GA, for military education, going through infantry officer basic leader course, Ranger School, and Airborne School. After graduating, Church moved to Fort Lewis, WA, and deployed to Afghanistan shortly after.

On August 23, 2012, Church was out on his first deployment to Afghanistan. While conducting a routine patrol with his unit, it quickly became clear that he and the others were walking into an ambush and standing in a field of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Sensing the urgency to vacate the area, Church attempted to knock over a wall to create an escape route; however, a loud explosion rang out, knocking him unconscious for a few seconds. Once waking up from the blast, Church quickly realized that the IED had severed both of his legs below the knee. With his unit's help and their medic, Church was transferred to a MEDEVAC site and eventually to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Upon arriving at Walter Reed, he spent two and a half months in in-patient care while enduring 20 surgeries to save his legs and his life.

Today, Church is retired from the Army and lives in Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin Madison and graduated with his law degree. In his off time, he enjoys traveling, fishing and spending time with his family.