When joining the United States Armed Forces, those who enlist know that it comes with a risk. Unlike most nine-to-five’s, there’s no guarantee that you will return unscathed at the end of the day. Yet, despite this risk, thousands of brave Americans serve every day.
To commend those who have been injured while protecting the homeland, several organizations have partnered together to award mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans. The Homes4WoundedHeroes program is now in its fourth year. But before this year’s recipient is announced, take a moment to learn the story of last year’s honoree.
Home for the Brave
For Sgt. Toby Montoya, it was never a question of if he was going to serve, but when. Growing up, Montoya considered his father and grandfather heroes, having served in the Navy and the Air Force, respectively. After graduating high school in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Montoya enlisted in the US Army and the National Guard. He went on to do two combat tours and several training and border missions. Currently, his uniform is adorned with nearly 15 awards, including a Purple Heart Medal and a Bronze Star.
It was in Kapisa Province in Afghanistan on June 1, 2009, that Montoya’s life changed forever. While leading a convoy on a three-day mission, Montoya encountered an improvised explosive device buried under a rural road. The explosion left him with a traumatic brain injury, neck and back injuries, and PTSD. Yet amongst the chaos, Montoya stayed and tended to his injured colleagues and warned off others in case of a second explosion.
Since returning from Afghanistan, Montoya has come a long way in his recovery. He has gone from struggling to hold a conversation to traveling the country sharing his story. Along with speaking, Montoya has committed himself to achieving ambitious athletic and fitness goals. The army veteran is an avid hand-cyclist and hopes to complete two 100-mile rides, along with a paratriathlon. Long-term, Montoya hopes to finish his degree and start his own business, all while continuing his work with supporting returning and injured soldiers.
Military Warriors Support Foundation
The home that Montoya was awarded comes as a donation from Wells Fargo, with contributions from the Military Warriors Support Foundation and Toyota of Boerne. The Homes4WoundedHeroes program that facilitated this home giveaway works to provide homes for combat-wounded veterans and unmarried Gold Star spouses whose loved ones were killed in action.
To see this year’s Homes4WoundedHeroes house recipient, come to Turkeys for Troops on Nov. 17, 2017, at Toyota of Boerne, or follow us on social media for live updates.