Welcome Home to the Hand Family
May 1 was a special day for the Carrington House program and for the family of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aubrey Hand, as they were able to move in and enjoy their new home in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Present for the May 1 housewarming were the general contractors and sub-contractors, many of whom donated material and labor to the project. They included: Realtor Phil Hanushek; Nathan James and Ryan Shoaf of David Weekly Homes; reps from Osborne Brothers Electric, who donated new can lights to the house; Norsec Smart Systems, who installed a discounted security system; and WOW Video Tours, who donated professional photos of the home.
The Hand house was open for tours by attendees, and a plaque and photo – inscribed to them from CCF – were presented to Aubrey, his wife Jasmine and their 4-year-old son Theron, during a short ceremony.
“You can tell that Jasmine, Aubrey and Theron are so happy and comfortable, settling into their home,” says Shelly Lawrence, who attended the event and presented the plaque on behalf of CCF. “They’re extremely grateful for the house, and really love feeling finally at home.” Shelly says Jasmine is “an organization wizard” who has made sure everything inside the house makes it easy for Aubrey to get back to the work and hobbies he had prior to his injuries.
In spring 2012, Hand voluntarily deployed to Bagram Air Base, the largest military base in Afghanistan, for route and culvert clearance, compound and village searches, base attacks, presence patrols, and working with the Afghan National Police and Army. While on a mounted patrol, an IED was detonated under Aubrey’s vehicle, causing serious injuries, including severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The brain trauma resulted in persistent headaches, memory recall issues, and decreased vision.
Aubrey subsequently spent four years in occupational and physical therapy, undergoing several medical procedures and surgeries to heal his leg. He medically retired in July 2015 as a Senior Airman. During his time in the Air Force, he received numerous medals, including 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.
In July 2016, Aubrey’s left leg was amputated below the knee at Walter Reed Medical Center. Before this procedure, Aubrey experienced constant nerve pain. Formerly an avid and competitive runner, Aubrey’s mobility was severely impaired.
Now, after years of therapy and healing, Aubrey competes in hand-cycling marathons, plays golf, swims, paddleboards and snowboards. He says the most meaningful thing is chasing after son Theron, and running with their family dog. Aubrey also returned to college to finish his bachelor’s degree.
Having a new home designed around Aubrey’s different abilities was the next big step forward in the Hand family’s lives.
“Seeing this family home at last is what makes the Carrington House Signature Program worth it,” says Shelly Lawrence. “A lot of times it’s easy to get caught up in the small things in your own life, but when you can finally see a Veteran family together, comfortable and at ease after everything they’ve been through, it reminds you of what’s really important. Being able to provide a forever home for Aubrey, Jasmine and Theron is a true honor for all of us at CCF.”
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.
Take a look at the beautiful photos below of the Hand family's new home.