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Key ceremony to unveil custom-made home for disabled Army veteran

Homes For Our Troops awards custom adapted home to Army veteran Michael Gower on July 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Homes For Our Troops)

This weekend, Army veteran Michael Gower will receive the gift of a lifetime: A brand new, custom-made home, adapted specifically to fit his needs.

Gower was severely injured in 2007 while serving his second deployment in the Middle East as an infantryman during the Iraq War.

But now, thanks to Homes For Our Troops, the disabled veteran will be able to live more independently in his custom-designed home.

The nonprofit organization stepped in last year to build the Army veteran a new home so he could live and move more freely. The home has been under construction since the fall, and work has been wrapping up over the last month to prepare for Gower’s move-in.

Now, there’s one last step before the Gower family can move in: Presenting the home’s key.

Homes For Our Troops will host a key ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, where the organization will officially donate the home to the family. The public is invited to take part in the ceremony and tour the home.

Shuttles will be available to transport attendees to the home site from First Baptist Church of Middleville, located at 5215 M-37, beginning at 9 a.m.

Last month, Homes For Our Troops hosted a volunteer day, bringing members of the community in to do landscaping work on the soon-to-be home.

In August 2007, Gower was injured when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over a two-ton, subsurface improvised explosive device.

Gower injured his back and fractured both feet and legs. He also sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.

His new home features more than 40 major special adaptations such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops.

The home will also alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or reaching for cabinets that are too high.

“This new home will improve my quality of life because I will be able to get in and out of my house,” Gower said in a released statement. “It will also make my wife and son’s life better since they won’t have to watch my struggle.”

Homes For Our Troops is currently working on over 80 projects for veterans. To find out more on how to get involved, visit


© 2019 The Grand Rapids Press, Mich.

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