Paying it Forward, One Soldier at a Time

We at Casas del Oso Luxury Homes have always felt it is important to give back to our community.

Barry Smith, our Co-Founder, had the good fortune to become involved with Sentinels of Freedom when they opened their chapter in Scottsdale.  Barry is a Navy and Vietnam veteran. Sentinels of Freedom awards 4 year scholarships to severely injured soldiers; this has been a prefect match.  Sentinels of Freedom is a national organization that was started by Mike Conklin, the father of 3 Army Rangers, after one of his sons was wounded in Iraq.  This program is not a handout it, is a hand up to assist injured soldiers readjust to civilian life.  Injured soldiers are eligible to receive rent-free housing, furniture and household supplies, career placement assistance and training, new adaptive vehicles, educational opportunities and financial and personal mentorship.

Sentinels just welcomed their 4th soldier into the program; he is Eric Cowan. Eric was on his second deployment to Iraq in 2009 when a remote IED was detonated.  Eric’s vehicle was the only one struck.  Eric’s foot was crushed in the explosion.  After two surgeries to stop the bleeding, he was evacuated to Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio where his left leg was amputated below the knee.  He spent the next year and a half  undergoing physical rehab and medically retired from the army last year.  He has overcome his injuries to the extent that he has climbed Mt. Rainier and he recently completed the 26.2 mile Bataan Death March Race in White Sands, New Mexico.  He just earned his SCUBA Rescue Diver Certification.  He is in Scottsdale to earn his Bachelors in Accounting and an MBA.

Channel 12 News was on hand when Sentinels welcomed Eric with an open house; check out the video: http://www.azcentral.com/video/1660506391001

The condo featured in video where Eric will live was completely remodeled by Casas del Oso through the generosity of our Subcontractors.

For more info on Sentinels of Freedom http://www.sentinelsoffreedomaz.org/  or http://www.sentinelsoffreedom.org