The Gary Sinise Foundation is having a Home Dedication for a Veteran as part of their R.I.S.E program. R.I.S.E stands for Renewing Independence Supporting Empowerment. As part of this program, the Sinise Foundation builds Specially Adapted Smart Homes for wounded Veterans and First Responders. The most recent project has taken place in Bayfield, Colorado for a Wounded Veteran, US Air Force TSgt Matthew Slaydon, and the Home Dedication Ceremony is scheduled for Noon on Tuesday, May 19th. The Colorado PGR has been invited to form a Flag Line during this Ceremony.
The number of participating PGR members will be limited to ten. We will practice social distancing at a minimum of six feet and proper face coverings/masks will be required.
Bayfield is nearly six hours from the Denver Metro area, just over five hours from Colorado Springs and four hours from Grand Junction. We checked with law enforcement in Bayfield and there are no current restrictions on travel into their community.
To my knowledge, this is the first Gary Sinise Foundation adapted home to be built in Colorado.
I will soon have the address for the Matthew Slaydon home. We will meet there by 11:30AM on May 19th.
I will be honored to serve as Ride Captain and will bring Flags. Wanda will be honored to attend, as well.
US Air Force TSgt Matthew Slaydon grew up always knowing he wanted to be in the military. In 1989, Matthew joined the US Air Force. After several years as an aircraft armament systems technician, in 2002, Matthew retrained to become an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician.
During his third deployment as an EOD technician, Matthew was sent to Baghdad as a counter-improvised explosive device (IED) team leader. On October 24, 2007, his team got a call to investigate possible IEDs around an area where an anti-American sign was found. Matthew does not remember anything that transpired on that day, but it was later determined that an IED filled with 15 pounds of homemade explosives, rebar, nails, and wood screws had exploded two feet in front of him.
Matthew was flown to three different medical centers before arriving back in the US to receive over 16 months of treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, TX. Matthew lost his left dominant arm, and his left eye suffers bilateral blindness without light perception and many other severe injuries.
Through his recovery process, Matthew was inspired to keep going because of his sense of duty, his family, and his military brothers and sisters. His wife, Annette, was by his side through the entire process. The couple currently owns a home that is not conducive to Matthew's day-to-day activities. The Gary Sinise Foundation looks forward to providing this deserving hero a specially adapted smart home.