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soldier’s new home

A Soldier’s New Home

Kickoff Saturday for soldier’s new home in Middleville

The national nonprofit organization Homes For Our Troops will kick off the building of a specially adapted custom home for Army Sgt. Michael Gower Saturday, Oct. 27. Sgt. Gower was injured while serving in Iraq.

The community kickoff event signifies the start of the building process and will introduce Sgt. Gower to the community. The event will be at Thornapple Kellogg High School, 3885 Bender Road, Middleville, at 10 a.m. (Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.) The public is welcome to attend.

A Kalamazoo native, Sgt. Gower was serving as an infantryman with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over a two-ton, subsurface improvised explosive device Aug. 2, 2007. Sgt. Gower injured his back; fractured both feet, his tibia and fibula and he sustained a severe traumatic brain injury as a result of the blast.

The home being built for Sgt. Gower, 35, will feature more than 40 major special adaptations, such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops. The home also will alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or over thresholds, or reaching for cabinets that are too high.

HFOT has built more than 260 homes since the organization’s inception in 2004 – including the first such home for Cpl. Josh Hoffman. That home, between Hastings and Middleville, was completed in January 2009. To date, six homes have been completed in Michigan by the organization.

Homes For Our Troops relies on contributions from donors, supporters and corporate partners for the building of each veteran’s home. Community members may hold fundraisers or make donations. More on how to get involved or to make a donation can be found at

More about Sgt. Gower’s story has been posted at


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