EAST HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In a tribute to the 343 New York firefighters who died in the 9/11 attacks, the national nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes today gifted its 343rd mortgage-free home, donated by JPMorgan Chase, to retired Army Spc. Evan Marcy, a Purple Heart recipient and son of a FDNY firefighter.
“I feel incredibly honored to be Building Homes for Heroes’ 343rd home recipient,” said Marcy, who lost his left leg in combat in Afghanistan. “This gift not only recognizes my own service, but also acknowledges the impact my father made. I cannot thank everyone involved enough.”
Marcy received the keys to his new 1,476 square foot, customized home in East Haven after a parade and ceremony that drew members from FDNY 343 Ride, a group that today rode from Connecticut’s 9/11 Living Memorial in Westport to East Haven. It is part of an annual cycling event that raises money for wounded veterans and honors FDNY personnel who died in 9/11.
Marcy’s father, Duane, participated in the search-and-rescue efforts, serving at Ground Zero for nearly a month. The bravery of his father and other first responders inspired 39-year-old Marcy to join the Army after high school, serving five years as a combat military photographer.
During his 2009 Afghanistan deployment, a firefight took place with shots from a helicopter hitting Marcy, resulting in the amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Medically discharged in 2011, Marcy earned prestigious awards for his service, including the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
Building Homes for Heroes roots stem from 9/11 when the nonprofit’s founder, New York business executive Andy Pujol, worked as a search-and-rescue volunteer. The experience inspired Pujol to establish the organization, which gifts mortgage-free homes to injured veterans, their families and first responders.
“We’re proud to gift Evan Marcy the keys to his well-deserved, forever home,” Pujol said. “His courage, virtue and commitment to service, alongside those who chose selflessness on the tragic day, inspire us to continue supporting our veterans and first responders.”
East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora attended the ceremony, welcoming Marcy to the community. He said Marcy’s courage and unwavering commitment to service exemplify East Haven’s values. “As a community, we strive to support our nation’s heroes, and will ensure that East Haven remains a place where Evan can thrive and find a sense of belonging,” Carfora said.
Also attending was Matt McSpedon, Connecticut Market Leader at JPMorgan Chase. It provided the home mortgage-free for Marcy through its national partnership with Building Homes for Heroes. Since 2011, JPMorgan Chase has donated more than 1,080 mortgage-free homes to veterans through its Military Home Awards Program.
“The house we donated to Evan is more than a place of shelter and safety for him and his family,” McSpedon said. “It is a reminder that true heroism leaves an indelible mark on the world. We are happy to gift him and his family this home in this wonderful community and look forward to following his future endeavors.”
Since 2006, the national nonprofit has modified and gifted more than 340 homes, with support from donors such as Advance Auto Parts and Lowe’s, whose support throughout the years has been foundational in continuing to gift mortgage-free homes to veterans and first responders. Another longtime partner, Legrand, a West Hartford appliance, electrical and electronics manufacturer, donated product for the East Haven home.
Building Homes for Heroes
Building Homes for Heroes builds and gifts mortgage-free homes, and completes home modifications, for veterans, emergency first responders and their families, and provides further services along their road to recovery to help them live a promising and fulfilling life. The organization reached a 95.19% program rating in 2021, the 10th straight year earning a program rating of at least 93%. It also received a perfect 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for six straight years, including a 100% in transparency and accountability. Learn more at buildinghomesforheroes.org/
JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to service members and veterans
For more than a decade, JPMorgan Chase’s Military & Veterans Affairs has been providing programs and initiatives aimed at positioning military members, veterans and their families for long-term personal and financial success. Since 2011, the firm has hired more than 18,000 veterans; facilitated more than 900,000 veteran and military spouse hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; awarded more than 1,080 mortgage-free homes to military families; and helped nearly 50,000 participants enroll in Onward to Opportunity, a free career training program of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which was co-founded and is supported by JPMorgan Chase and Syracuse University. Learn more at jpmorganchase.com/veterans.
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SOURCE Building Homes for Heroes