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American Legion Post 305,
Caledonia, Mi.
9548 Cherry Valley
Telephone Number 616-891-1882
Serving Veterans, their families and the
Community for over 57 years
Key turn over day began on a very cold Saturday morning. Preperations began by sitting
signs of contributors of labor and materials. The Michigan Patriot Guard placed flags
along the road way and assisted people with parking. Golf cars were driven by some very
harty young folks transporting those that needed assistance to get to the house. The tent
heater was started which finally brought the temperature up to 70 degrees inside.
As visitors arrived they were treated to a variety of items, coffee, hot
chocolate and numerous delicacies. Everyone had an opportunity to walk
through the house and observe various technological items not found in
most new homes. Around 10:30 Josh and Heather arrived escorted by state
and county police, The Patriot Guard and numerous family members.
The program began with Tom Benoit, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from
Homes For Our Troops opening the ceremonies. Tom went on to introduce Max Wagner,
a Junior High student at Caledonia, who sang the National Anthem as the Caledonia
Memorial Post 305 Color Guard presented the Colors. Reverend Tim Bateman gave the
opening prayer. Tom introduced the following speakers from left to right, Mark Jansen
State Senator from Kent County, Brian Calley State Representative from Barry County,
Bill Bravata of AIM Builders, Chet Teater from Caledonia American Legion Post 305,
Major J. M. O'Neill, USMC, Jan Oldham Super food lady, our dedicated "Josh
Hoffman" fund raise Nicole Haywood, representatives of the "Purple Heart"
organization presented Josh with a beautiful Purple Heart plaque. Heather and Josh gave
a tearful "Thank You" to all for their time, donations and love for the project.
As the crowd of visitors looked on, Josh and heather were presented with
the key to their new home and a ribbon cutting took place. Numerous
gifts were presented to Josh and Heather once inside the house.
Numerous signs were displayed welcoming Josh and Heather home. A
picture taking session took place with friends and family alike, while
others continued to tour the new home. Brian Reed, a retired contractor
and field manager for "Homes For Our Troops" was thanked by Josh
and Heather and Chet Teater, local Project Coordinator for all the help
and guidenance he provided during the building of the home.
Pictures of Josh and Heathers bathroom for the nurses, who
daily attend to Josh's medical needs, laundry room and the
master bathroom appear. The picture of the refrigerator contains
a very special gift, Josh's favorite, a can of Bud Lite
For those who spent many hours on the project, from
clearing the first bush and tree to the final day, Gary
Timmermans, Bill White, Chet Teater, Larry Zuverink,
Bill Thornton, Bill Bravata and Gordon Jousma had a
group picture with Josh and Heather. Later, Heather
gathered this group together for one final picture and
one truly memorable moment. She asked that all get
as close to Josh as possible and in a very soft and
gravely tone, Josh could be heard saying Thank You.
For those of us present, this was one of the most
rewarding experience of a lifetime. When asking about
this, Heather replied that Josh had been working on
this for several weeks
Caledonia Memorial American Legion Post 305 and
Homes For Our Troops wish to once again thank all who
were involved with this project from start to finish. We
would also like to thank the men and women of our armed
forces, and their families, for all the sacrifices they make
for the cause of freedom around the world. May God look
over and protect these great Americans, watch over Josh
and Heather and all those who made this possible.
"God Bless America".
January 31st 2009
Key turnover day