On April 15, 2011, Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004 that's dedicated to helping veterans who have returned home from combat with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001, kicked off the build of its 101st home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Homes for Our Troops is building this particular home (see photo) for U.S. Army Sergeant Jude Recendez who lost both of his legs while deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2006.

Before Jude's home, the organization completed another feat: Home #100, which was built in partnership with Atlantic Builders (who donated their expertise for the cause—as do all the Homes for Our Troops partners), and was finished in a record 76 hours and 41 minutes. Although speed isn't necessarily a goal for the organization, it was a Homes for Our Troops 100th home celebration that reached out to show the greatness of the community with a kickoff ceremony and a special key presentation for recipient Marine Sergeant Kenny Lyon, who also resides in Virginia.

As if Homes for Our Troops' mission isn't noble enough, they also have a commitment to energy efficiency, says Dawn Teixeira, executive director of the nonprofit. "Energy efficiency is one of our priorities," she says. "It is not only good for the environment, it makes sense to provide our veterans with all the health and economic benefits that energy efficient homes provide."

In order to comply with efficiency standards, Homes for Our Troops has joined forces with the Sierra Club Foundation, which has offered them a grant that allows each one of the homes they build to be built to Energy Star standards and to be Energy Star rated. "We have also been able to build several homes that have been LEED certified in Oregon, Colorado, and New Jersey," Dawn says. 

Just as they've done for the first 100 homes, the organization looks forward to completing 100 more in partnership with builders across the country. "The builders have been enthusiastic about building new homes for our severely injured veterans as their way to give back and provide the freedom and independence in their homes that any able bodied person does enjoy," Dawn says.

Homes for Our Troops estimates that there are more than 1,000 veterans that have been so severely injured while serving our country that they qualify for a Homes for Our Troops home, which means there's a lot of work to be done. "We are now looking toward funding 100 more," she says. 

To learn more or to donate services, visit the organization's website here. You can also view a video biography of Sgt. Jude Recendez, whose home is scheduled to be complete this June.

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