LAYTONSVILLE, Md. – At the end of March, 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 that provides permanent housing for wounded veterans. It's volunteer-based and often partners with other companies like Ruppert to complete their projects.
The recipient of this home is Sergeant William Slease III, a former Army M1A1 tank commander, as well as 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 military career that spanned over 20 years, 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. He has had neck and shoulder surgery and requires additional surgeries.
“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 $23,000. Site improvements included planting over 200 shrubs and perennials and 14 shade and ornamental trees, laying over 6,500 square footage of turf and 66,000 square feet of hydro seed. They also put down roughly 10 yards of mulch and tilling and pruning on the site. In total, over 120 man-hours were donated to this project.
Five percent of Ruppert’s annual profit is used to support charitable causes.
“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.”
“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,” Brownell said. “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, which donated hydroseeding and watering, and JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, which donated mulch.