Carrington House Update

July 26, 2018

We have updates on the ongoing renovations for our two current Carrington House recipients and the announcement of the family of a Veteran who will soon have a newly remodeled home designed to make access easier.

After the CCF Gala this June, a new Carrington House recipient was announced, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aubrey Hand. Aubrey suffered multiple injuries in 2012 from the detonation of an IED during his deployment to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Aubrey spent four years in occupational and physical therapy, undergoing numerous surgeries and other medical procedures. His left leg was amputated below the knee at Walter Reed Medical Center in 2016. For his service, Aubrey received the Purple Heart, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

An avid runner before his injuries, Aubrey says his time at Walter Reed was life-changing, both physically and mentally. He reports that despite his loss of a limb, he is once again athletically active, cycling in marathons, golfing, swimming, and paddle boarding. He was snowboarding with his wife, Jasmine, just five months after amputation. Most meaningful to him, Aubrey says, is being able to chase after his son, Theron, and run with his dog. He’s returning to school this fall to finish his bachelor’s degree and he continues to train for competitions.

CCF is now in the process of finding and purchasing a home in South Carolina for the Hand family, says Brandon Nicolas, the VP, Carrington Development, who oversees all renovations and remodels for Carrington House recipients. “We’re looking for just the right property to renovate to fit the needs of this family,” said Brandon, who says he’ll be in South Carolina in the next few weeks to do just that.

Things are well underway on the other two Carrington Houses. In Jacksonville, NC, the home being remodeled for Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (Retired) Ward Taft, his wife Amy, and daughters Isabella and Clara, has seen completion of all the demolition needed and all the framing that had to be done, says Nicolas. Electricals and plumbing are being installed now in what Brandon calls “a pretty big project.”

All the floors in the Taft home had to be replaced, the kitchen was gutted, and both bathrooms were demolished and rebuilt, including a new walk-in shower. The home should be finished by the end of September, barring any complications.

There have been some challenges in the Carrington House renovation in Gilbert, AZ, for U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and Purple Heart recipient Holly Katke, the first woman Veteran CCF has chosen to receive a home makeover. Katke’s combat-related injuries from deployment in Iraq include visual impairment and a loss of mobility in her right arm, hand, and leg.

Brandon says he’d hoped to be farther along on the major kitchen and bath remodels, along with new plumbing and electricals, exterior flat work on walkways, and other touches. The good news: Framing of the rooms is finished, and the whole house should be completed by the end of September.

Holly will also receive new appliances and new furniture. “It’s basically a brand-new house,” said Brandon.

“Moving into a fully ADA-compliant home will allow me to function much more efficiently and become more independent, as well as help me in raising my pre-teenage daughter,” Holly told us recently. “With continued training and knowing that I have an ADA home, I feel confident I can do better.”

Carrington House is the Carrington Charitable Foundation’s leading program, giving wounded military Veterans who have returned from service and who need support a home they deserve and can call their own. How are Veterans chosen for a Carrington House renovation? Some reach out to CCF personally, and others are recommended by Veterans CCF has helped in the past.