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Home Sweet Home

by Danielle Krouse

Waldemar Alameda is not unlike many Americans who want nothing more than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Alameda not only puts the needs of his family ahead of his own, but the needs of the American people, as he has also put his life on the line more than once while serving our country with distinction in multiple tours of Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

In 2007, the U.S. National Guard and Army vet was severely injured by an IED explosion while serving in Tikrit, Iraq. He now suffers from severe leg and back pain, and while he can walk short distances, Alameda uses a wheelchair most of the time. In addition, he is diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and mild posttraumatic stress disorder.

Last year Alameda was told he would receive a modular green home equipped to make his life easier. The home is located in Tampa so he can be treated at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. The house was brought in pieces from Orlando, where it was on display at the 2011 International Builders Show. Local and national volunteers from Rebuilding Together, Sears “Heroes at Home” and NextGen Home Experience came together by the masses to help.

“Our involvement in this project brings joy and pride to a lot of people in this community,” says Jose Garcia, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay’s executive director. “Rebuilding Together changes lives and we are all eagerly anticipating the great things to come for the Alameda family.”

The green home is LEED certified and is equipped with solar panels on the roof, a natural gas tankless water heater, and is fully insulated so the Alameda’s will have a low energy bill every month while reducing the family’s carbon footprint. In addition the home has ramps and wide doors to accommodate Alameda’s wheelchair and can also withstand Category 5 hurricane winds.

“We are so thankful to everyone involved for giving us this opportunity,” says Alameda. “The house is beautiful and will change our lives for the better.”

Photo Caption: The Alameda family gather in front of their new LEED certified home in Tampa.

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