Marine Receives Donated Tuscan Lakes Home
League City - United States Senator John Cornyn was be on hand Tuesday, November 11, to congratulate Lt. Erasmo Valles, a 33-year-old U.S. Marine severely wounded in Iraq, on his new home in Tuscan Lakes, donated through the efforts of the Bay Area Builders Association (BABA) and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
The dedication ceremony, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., included remarks by Cornyn, Dan Wallrath with BABA and the presentation of keys to Lt. Valles and his family. Gallery Furniture and Kroger also will make presentations to the Valles family.
Lt. Valles and his platoon were on a routine assignment to set up a roadblock on a traffic circle in Iraq during March of 2004 when his Humvee ran over an anti-tank mine. The force of the explosion propelled the entire engine into Lt. Valles’ lap, trapping him in the vehicle. He managed to pull himself from the wreckage, but his legs were severely injured. Eighteen months and 22 surgeries later, Lt. Valles had lost his left leg, but not his spirit. He now walks with a prosthetic leg.
Wilshire Homes donated the plans and assisted in supervising construction of the $275,000 home in the Ravenna neighborhood of Tuscan Lakes, a community developed by The Johnson Development Corp. The Valles family, including Lt. Valles’ wife, Sandra, and their children Ty, Lorenzo and Tatianna, moved into the home in August to accommodate Sandra’s teaching schedule. The Bay Area Builders Association spearheaded the home donation effort through its “Support Our Troops” initiative, which began building handicap-accessible homes for wounded veterans in 2005.
“We are extremely honored and excited to be able to build this home for Lt. Valles and his family,” said Wallrath, president of BABA Support Our Troops, Inc. “It is the least we could do to honor his courageous sacrifice. This project would not have been possible without generous donations from the suppliers and contractors, the community and, of course, the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.”
The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization offering several programs to assist disabled veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is the second home in Tuscan Lakes to be donated to a wounded Marine, with a home given to U.S. Marine Captain Christopher Ayres in September 2007.
“We are proud to welcome such courageous families into our community and honored to be part of such a worthy endeavor,” said Bob Douglas, general manager of Tuscan Lakes.