Six medaled Marine and Army veterans and their families have new homes, just in time for Christmas.
The veterans, all Long Islanders some who’ve been living until now in cramped apartments and shared homes with their extended families, received the keys to their just completed, deeply discounted homes on Veterans Way, a subdivision in Islandia built exclusively for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan by Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp., a charitable arm of the Long Island Builders Institute.
The six, three-bedroom homes were built on 3.2 acres of land, donated by CA Technologies Inc., by six volunteer builders who are members of LIBI. Materials to construct the homes were either donated or purchased at reduced cost.
Officials of Long Island Homebuilders Care Development Corp. believe Veterans Way is the nation’s first subdivision built exclusively for veterans. The just-completed homes were built under the charity’s “Building New Homes for Returning Veterans” program.
The veterans are:
— Army Staff Sgt. Jason Broyles, 33, of North Bellmore, who is married with two children. He remains on active duty with the Army Reserve on Long Island.
— Former Marines Staff Sgt. Shawn Hunkins, 27, of Bohemia, who is married with three children. He remains in the active reserve.
— Former Marines Lance Cpl. Paul Milazzo, 28, of Ronkonkoma, who is married and has a three-month-old son.
–Former Marines Sgt. Eric Petry, 28, of East Islip, who is married and has a daughter.
–Former Marines Sgt. Thomas Schreiber, 32, of East Rockaway, who is married and has a son.
–Former Army Cpl. Timothy Ward, 33, of Bayport, who is married and has two children.
The veterans moving into the homes were chosen by a panel of Veterans of Foreign Wars post commanders, which included Rocky Point Commander Joe Cognitore, VFW NY State Jr. Vice Commander, Michael Pascal, VFW Inspector for the Dept. of New York Dennis Sullivan, VFW County Commander John Mauro, Past County Commander Sid Lynn and DAV Commander Bob Smith.
“It is especially rewarding at this time of the year for us to be turning the keys to these new homes over to these veterans and their families. We are extremely happy they are achieving the American dream of home ownership at this merry time of year,” LIHBCDC’s chairman, Edgar Goodale, said. “We plan to construct many, many more of these homes in the future.”
“The completion of these homes means we’ve been able to help these veterans overcome one of the many hurdles they have faced since returning home, finding affordable places to live and anchor their lives,” said Lois Fricke, LIHBCDC director of development. “Most importantly, our program has kept these heroes and their families on Long Island.”
Joining in welcoming the veterans to their new homes were Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp.’s officers and board members, officials and members of the Long Island Builders Institute, scores of volunteers, Veterans of Foreign Wars post commanders who selected the Veterans, community members, Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs Colonel Eric J. Hess and various elected officials, including Congressman Tim Bishop, County Executive Steve Bellone and Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman.
Each veteran family paid about $199,000 for their home, less than half of the appraised market value, and each received a Veterans Administration mortgage arranged by Robert Morandi and Frank Bove of Continental Home Loans, Melville.
Each veteran received free legal services provided by area lawyers, including Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, Brookhaven Town Council Member Daniel Panico, John Boklak and Edward Gathman.
CA Technologies was represented by Adam Famularo, senior vice-president; and Chuck Quinn, vice president of corporate real estate; Ken Bell, senior vice-president global administrative services; Sean Leyden of tje Garfunkel Wild Law Firm and Valerie DeMasi. CA presented each of the six veterans with about $1,500 worth of household items and a $1,000 gift card to Home Depot. CA’s contributions came from employees, CA Technologies Inc. a Friendly Flag Competition, its Child Development Center, Lewis Johs Avalon, Royal Health Care and Dentsply
All the ranch-style, three-bedroom, two-bath, full-8-foot basement homes also have hardwood floors, designer kitchens with granite surfaces, vaulted ceilings in living areas, custom window treatments, high hat lighting, tiled bathroom floors, stainless steel appliances, large capacity washers and dryers, central air conditioning and central vacuum system. Each property is fully landscaped with sod and sprinklers. Each also has a full 2-car garage with opener and remotes, and maintenance free exteriors with premium vinyl siding.
Each homes’ stainless steel appliances were donated by the Nassau County Firemen’s Association. And Garden City-based Lifetime Brands donated complete kitchen needs, from dishes to cutting boards, for all six homes. Gina’s Florists donated holiday arrangements and Calvary Lutheran Church made each family a housewarming basket. Zorn Industries also gave the families housewarming gifts.
The charity, which began its program, “Building New Homes for Returning Veterans” in 2009, previously constructed two low-cost homes for veterans on Long Island, in Lake Ronkonkoma and in Sound Beach. Additional homes are planned for other sites in the region.
The six homebuilders who coordinated construction of the homes are: Almas Construction Corp., of Wading River; Alex Armonas Development Corp., of Huntington; the Beechwood Organization, of Jericho, Benchmark Home Builders, of Huntington Station; Lewis Enterprises, of E. Northport; and Ornstein Leyton Co., of Garden City.
In addition, hundreds of subcontractors volunteered for this effort and the Long Island Power Authority and the Suffolk County Water Authority assisted in providing infrastructure for the subdivision.