Moving In! Homes for the Hand and Taft Families

April 05, 2019

“Home is where your story begins,” wrote the author Annie Danielson. New chapters in their stories are about to be written in the lives of two families who are moving into the two latest Carrington Houses, renovated and refurbished inside and out to be fully disability-accessible.

The homes, located in North and South Carolina, for U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Ward Taft and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aubrey Hand and their families, are finally complete, reports Brandon Nicolas, VP, Carrington Development, who oversees all the renovations and remodels for Carrington House recipients.

The projects were designed to accommodate injuries Ward and Aubrey sustained in combat deployments. Those range from lost limbs and vision impairment to traumatic brain injury.

Getting the houses finished had its ups and downs over the past year. Construction slowed at the Taft home in Jacksonville, NC, when it was damaged by a hurricane last September. But the four-bedroom house is now complete, retrofitted to allow Ward to access the entrances and exits, baths, and open kitchen in a wheelchair. Ward’s family includes wife Amy and daughters Isabella and Clara, plus service dog Dr. Doolittle. Ward is currently earning his bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management at Western Carolina University, scheduled to graduate this spring and embark on a career in disaster relief.

In Fort Mill, SC, construction on the home for Aubrey Hand, wife Jasmine and son Theron is also finished; and the family moved in on March 8, giving Aubrey much-needed accessibility and independence. His left leg was amputated below the knee in 2016 following injuries suffered in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2012.

“These homes help our wounded Vets live comfortably and independently,” says Brittany Barnes, CCF’s Community Outreach Specialist. “Our goal is restoring the independence these Vets had temporarily lost.”

CCF’s Carrington House program strives to give wounded military Veterans who have returned from service and need support a home they deserve and can call their own. To date, more than 20 Carrington Houses have been built or remodeled by CCF to suit the needs of wounded Vets and their families.

“It warms our hearts to finally see these families in the homes they deserve,” adds Shelly Lawrence, Executive Director of Community Relations for the Carrington Charitable Foundation. “Homes where they can relax with their families, heal and now move on with their lives.”


Aubrey Hand and wife Jasmine in their newly completed Carrington House in South Carolina.


Relaxing on the couch: Dr. Doolittle, Ward’s trusted companion and helper.