There is a powerful transformation that takes place when a family is presented keys to a new home. A transformation accelerated when they are keys to a home void of a mortgage payment. On August 2, 2013 the Boot Campaign, together with Corporate Sponsor Fairway Independent Mortgage, sponsored a mortgage-free home presentation to Sgt. Michael Branley (US ARMY Ret.). This is the eighth home that Fairway Independent Mortgage has sponsored with the Boot Campaign.
“I have never met a more kind, patriotic and determined group of people in my life. Thank you to the Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., and its people, Military Warriors Support Foundation, Sean Parnell, and The Boot Campaign. Wow! AMAZING people. God bless all of them. Thank you so much. You have helped change our lives forever. We are still in absolute shock!” – Mike Branley, Home Recipient
A Superior, Wisconsin native, Branley joined the Army in June, 1984 to serve his country as an Army Infantryman and re-joined after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Branley experienced traumatic brain injury during his Iraq tour in 2006-2007 from I.E.D’s (improvised explosive device) and H.B.I.E.D’s (house-borne) explosions that he said still give him mild to severe head pain. Among his many awards and commendations, Branley has been awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and has been recommended for the Purple Heart, which is pending review. Branley would like to own a small business someday and work as a mentor for young combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Branley was presented with the mortgage-free home at a Fairway Independent Mortgage “Boot Camp” event held in Madison, WI designed to train local mortgage professionals and real estate agents on how to help active U.S. military service members and veterans overcome their unique challenges to buying a home. Fairway’s Military Mortgage Specialist (MMS) and Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS) certification programs equip housing professionals to handle with care the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients, many of whom have higher credit debt than average Americans and are often targeted by payday lenders.
“Mike Branley is a true American hero and we are grateful for his service,” said Louise Thaxton, Fairway’s Military Mortgage Director who presented Branley with the “key” to his mortgage-free home. “He has sacrificed so much for his country. He, like many other Americans who have put their lives on the line, deserves a chance at homeownership. Our Boot Camp events were created to help them realize that dream.”
Boot Campaign Hero Ambassador Sean Parnell, and Boot Campaign representatives Christina De La Torre and Danielle Zopf were on-hand for the presentation.
“Meeting the Brantley family, and seeing first hand how our partnership together is changing our Veterans lives, has inspired me beyond words.” – Christina De La Torre, Boot Campaign
Fairway Independent Mortgage employees have pledged several hundred thousand dollars in donations over a 12-month period to help provide mortgage-free homes to veterans in association with the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization supporting returning American military troops, and made possible through the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program.
After acquiring distressed properties from financial institutions, the Military Warriors Support Foundation uses funds provided by the Boot Campaign and its Corporate Sponsors to provide accommodations and modifications for the specific heroes. In addition to the home, the families receive three years of family and financial mentoring. Combat wounded veterans or unmarried Gold Star spouses of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom are encouraged to apply for a mortgage-free home by visiting www.militarywarriors.org/openhomes.