Dan Wallrath, a homebuilder from Texas with 30 years of experience, found his mission in life after he helped renovate the home of a young wounded Marine, reports CNN.
After realizing that the transition from the battlefront to the home front can present difficult challenges for veterans and that there were thousands of injured veterans in need of help, Wallrath started a nonprofit called Operation Finally Home, which provides mortgage-free custom-made homes to wounded or disabled veterans.
Wallrath, who was recognized in November as one of the year's top 10 CNN Heroes, told CNN:
"This is what our program's about. We give (families) a hand up, not a handout. They just need a little help in life to get them started."
Wallrath announced last December that Operation Finally Home had established a Fort Hood Victims' Fund to help the families affected by the attack with renovations, such as wheelchair ramps and handicap-accessible bathrooms.
After being recognized as a CNN Hero, Wallrath's organizatio received more than $100,000 in contributions, as well as several pieces of property on which to build homes.
The television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has also partnered with the Wallrath to build a home for one of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting spree victims.