On Friday, March 29th, 20 members from Ruppert Landscape’s Virginia landscape construction branch partnered with HeroHomes to donate and install landscaping for a wounded veteran and his family. Based in Loudoun County, Virginia, HeroHomes is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent housing for wounded veterans.
“HeroHomes is 100% volunteer-based—we sacrifice our time and resources for those that have been injured fighting for other’s freedoms and democracy,” said HeroHomes co-founder, Jason Brownell. “We are only able to achieve our mission with the help of companies like Ruppert.”
The recipient of this home will be Sergeant William Slease III, a former Army M1A1 tank commander; his wife, Alice; and their four-year-old daughter, Maggie. William joined the Army in 1990 following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. During his 20+ year military career, William participated in multiple campaigns including Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq. During Operation Enduring Freedom, his unit (the 7th Cavalry 3rd Squadron) led the race to Baghdad and received a Presidential Citation in 2003. William became disabled and was medically retired from the Army after his tank was hit with an RPG in Baghdad. He spent over two years recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and has since been diagnosed with severe PTSD and chronic depression related to the loss of his closest friends in combat as well as a traumatic brain injury. Additionally, he has had neck and shoulder surgery and requires additional surgeries.
Pictured above: Ruppert’s Virginia Landscape Construction team in front of the new home with William Slease and his wife, Alice.
“William, Alice, and Maggie need a quiet place to live, away from large crowds but within a caring community, where he can heal,” said Brownell. “We believe that William will be able to deal with his PTSD better after he has a permanent home. He can concentrate and focus on living and not housing. The Slease family could not be happier to open a new chapter in their lives in their new home on 10 acres.”
The day involved a significant investment of both time and materials, totaling approximately $23K. Site improvements included planting over 200 shrubs and perennials and 14 shade and ornamental trees, laying over 6,500 SF of turf and 66,000 SF of hydro seed, laying 10 yards of mulch, and tilling and pruning on the 10-acre site. In total, over 120 man-hours were donated to bring this project to fruition.
Five percent of Ruppert’s annual profit is used to support charitable causes. A large portion of the giving is managed directly by the branches to ensure that employees are intimately involved—preferably with hands-on projects—and have a greater connection to what’s being donated.
“The great thing about our charitable giving initiative is that we encourage our team members to suggest causes that are close to their own hearts,” said Mike Ryan, operations manager in Ruppert’s Virginia landscape construction branch. “We had no connection with HeroHomes until our estimator, Janelle Stewart, brought it to our attention.”
“Jason [Brownell] is a family friend,” said Janelle. “While talking with him recently about the Slease Home project, I realized that this would be a perfect opportunity for Ruppert to give back, and I was very excited to be able to make that connection.” She continued, “I grew up in Loudoun County and it was surreal for me to be able to make such a huge contribution thanks to the generosity of Ruppert. My son is planning on a career in the Navy and my daughter is planning a career in the Air Force, so helping provide the Slease family with a beautiful forever home in Loudoun County after all they have sacrificed through their service was very meaningful for me personally.”
“Ruppert is an awesome example of the community pitching in to make this a reality—a very large landscaping company, who we had no connection with before a few weeks ago, suddenly emerges at the right time and offers themselves up to serve others on the HeroHomes project,” said Brownell. “People giving their time and resources to serve those that fought and sacrificed for our country is what this is all about.”
Other partners who contributed to the landscape donation include Johnson Hydro Seeding Corporation, who donated hydroseeding and watering, and JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, who donated mulch.
HeroHomes is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation established to build houses for those who have fought for the preservation of freedom and democracy for others. Working alongside established veteran support organizations, HeroHomes provides the opportunity for disabled veterans to rejoin society with the security and pride of home ownership. For more information, visit www.herohomesloudoun.org.
Ruppert Landscape, a family and employee-owned business, provides commercial landscape construction and management with 23 branches serving eight primary markets in Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Houston. The company has a long-standing tradition of growing its team and giving back to the community. For more information, visit www.ruppertlandscape.com.