PulteGroup Breaks Ground on Built to Honor® Home for U.S. Army Veteran in Arizona
Tenth anniversary celebration continues for program providing homes to wounded veterans
PulteGroup’s Arizona division recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Liby and his family. Once construction is complete, Staff Sergeant Liby will receive a new, mortgage-free home through the Built to Honor® program, which has awarded more than 80 homes over the past decade.
PulteGroup Arizona Division employees, local supporters and an honor guard from the Vail High School Junior Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps were there to celebrate with Liby, his wife Christina and their three children as they broke ground on their new home in Vail Parke at Rocking K, a Pulte Homes community in Tucson. The four-bedroom home is being built specifically for the Liby family, with accommodations if Staff Sergeant Liby’s combat injuries require him to use a wheelchair in the future.
“We hope this will soon become a place where Staff Sergeant Liby and his family can live out their dreams,” said Michelle Gregorec, president of PulteGroup’s Arizona Division. “While we can never fully express our gratitude to our nation’s heroes, especially to those who return injured from service, one thing we can do is build incredible homes to provide lifelong support for them and their families.”
The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of the Liby family’s journey to homeownership. In June, they were invited to what they thought was an event for veterans at an Arizona Diamondbacks game – only to find out that 200 PulteGroup Arizona division employees and other guests were there to let them know they were selected to receive a mortgage-free home.
“It is an honor to be part of building the American dream for such a deserving veteran,” said PulteGroup President and CEO Ryan Marshall. “With the generous support of our trade partners and suppliers, the home will be ready for Staff Sergeant Liby and his family to move in early next year.”
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Built to Honor program is a commitment to give back to returning military personnel who were injured during their term of service by PulteGroup, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. Staff Sergeant Liby was awarded the Purple Heart after he was wounded in a 2008 attack in Afghanistan. PulteGroup is building the home in partnership with Building Homes for Heroes, a national non-profit organization devoted to bringing renewed hope and service to injured veterans.
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Liby
Staff Sergeant Liby joined the military coming out of high school in December 1997, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps until December 2001 and joining the Army in 2002.
While on patrol in Afghanistan in 2008, Staff Sergeant Liby and his unit were clearing an area of IEDs when one exploded under their Humvee. An armored door blew off the vehicle and hit Staff Sergeant Liby in the head, crushing in his helmet and knocking him unconscious. The blast threw him nearly 150 meters, injuring his neck and back. After he regained consciousness a few moments later, he saw the Humvee upside-down and burning, and ran to help the soldiers inside despite his own wounds and continued flying shrapnel from secondary explosions. He and a fellow soldier continued to administer aid until a medical helicopter arrived. Staff Sergeant Liby sustained smoke burns in his lungs, his neck and back were injured, and he had shrapnel wounds in his neck, face and arms.
Three months later, he began experiencing severe spasms in his left arm. Further testing determined that he had sustained permanent nerve damage to his left arm, a traumatic brain injury, carpal tunnel, and fractures to his neck and lower back, which turned into degenerative disc disease. He was placed at a desk job for the remainder of the deployment and was medically discharged in October 2012.
Since medically retiring, Staff Sergeant Liby has been working to help others, including a local rancher. His dream is to open a ranch for veterans, first responders and their families, and families of the fallen.
Staff Sergeant Liby has been awarded the Purple Heart, Iraq Campaign Medal W/ Four Campaign Stars, USN/USMC Medal, Army Commendation Medal (5th Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense A Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal W/ Two Campaign Stars, and several other military accolades for his service.
About Built to Honor®
For the last decade, PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® program has recognized and thanked returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families. Launched in 2013, the program has built and donated over 80 homes, gifting more than $30 million in value, across the country. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to identify veteran candidates. For more information about Built to Honor, go to builttohonor.org. Follow Built to Honor on Twitter: @BuiltToHonor and Facebook.com/BuiltToHonor.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.
For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup brands, go to pultegroup.com; pulte.com; centex.com; delwebb.com; divosta.com; jwhomes.com; and americanwesthomes.com. Follow PulteGroup, Inc. on Twitter: @PulteGroupNews.