By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Teuila Lobendahn (holding key, above), a retired Army private first class, and her eight children pose for a picture before taking their first look inside a forever home from Building Homes for Heroes, with support from JPMorgan Chase, Lowe’s, Advance Auto Parts and SAIC.
Behind Lobendahn and family are public safety personnel from Pleasant Grove, where her new home is located. Minutes before, the first responders welcomed Lobendahn with a procession leading up to the residence.
Lobendahn served in the U.S. Army from 2006 until December 2008, when she was honorably discharged.
In Afghanistan, Lobendahn was exposed to burn pits during her missions and now suffers from debilitating migraines, major depressive disorder, bilateral plantar fasciitis and post-traumatic stress disorder.
For her service, Lobendahn received the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star and the Overseas Service Bar (2x).
New York business executive Andy Pujol founded Building Homes for Heroes after volunteering in search-and-rescue efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Since 2006, the national nonprofit has modified and gifted more than 320 homes, with support from JPMorgan Chase, Advance Auto Parts, Lowe’s, SAIC and other companies.
Since 2011, JPMorgan Chase has donated more than 1,050 mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families through the firm’s Military Home Awards Program in collaboration with nonprofits, such as Building Homes for Heroes.
Building Homes for Heroes builds and gifts mortgage-free homes, and completes home modifications, for veterans, emergency first responders and their families, and provides further services along their road to recovery to help them live a promising and fulfilling life ahead. Learn more at buildinghomesforheroes.org/
Established in 2011, JPMorgan Chase’s Military & Veterans Affairs provides programs and initiatives that are aimed at positioning military members, veterans and their families for long-term personal and financial success. Since 2011, the firm has hired more than 18,000 veterans; facilitated more than 880,000 veteran hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; awarded more than 1,050 mortgage-free homes to military families in need; and helped nearly 50,000 participants enroll in Onward to Opportunity. Learn more at jpmorganchase.com/veterans.