Bullets Honor Veterans by Supporting Home For Our Troops

GETTYSBURG, Pa.  Since the 2019-20 season, the Gettysburg College women’s basketball team has been involved with Home For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that looks to rebuild lives and homes of severely injured post-9/11 Veterans.   

Home For Our Troops is a publicly funded 501© (3) nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, and it enables them to rebuild their lives. Most of the Veterans have sustained injuries, including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). These homes restore some of the freedom and independence the Veterans sacrificed while defending our country and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives. HFOT builds these homes where the Veteran chooses to live and continues its relationship with the Veterans after home delivery to assist them with rebuilding their lives.

A Massachusetts general contractor who offered to build a Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldier a specially adapted custom home, started the organization on Feb. 4, 2004. To date, the organization has built 311 homes in 45 states. 

Last fall, the Bullets volunteered at the HFOT key ceremony where Marine Gunnery Sergeant Glen Silva was presented keys to his new specially adapted custom home in Gettysburg on Oct. 26, 2019. Silva, who is originally from Colorado, was the operations chief on a foot patrol with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines when he lost his left leg and sustained other injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosive in Afghanistan. Medically retired in 2015, Silva spends most of his time camping and traveling with his four children and wife Heather and enjoys public speaking and mentoring other injured Veterans.

Then on Feb. 8, 2020, Gettysburg raised awareness and funds for the organization as the team designated the home contest against Centennial Conference opponent Haverford College as the Home For Our Troops game. Before the start of the game, Silva was honored for his service with his family also in attendance.

Silva and his family have become avid fans and supporters of the women’s basketball program and attended every remaining home contest in 2020. The Bullets are looking forward to continuing their involvement and support with both Silva and HFOT. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the team’s opportunity for participation with the organization has been limited.

The military hits close to home for head coach Nate Davis as he served in the United States Marine Corps for four years. Ironically, Davis and Silva served in the same USMC unit at the same time but had no idea until the two had a conversation at the key presentation last October.

Davis comes from a long-line of generations who also served in the military.

“Serving our country in the military was always an option for me,” said Davis. “Both of my grandfathers served during WWII, my father and his two brothers served during Vietnam, my brother was in the Navy during Desert Storm, and I have three cousins that served as well. I recently found out that my great, great, great grandfather fought for the 35th Infantry in the Battle of Gettysburg and is listed on the Pennsylvania monument.”         

Davis had no intention to enlist in the military upon graduating from high school, so he went on to attend college. His college days would soon take a halt as he enlisted in the USMC while on spring break during his first year and went on to boot camp in November that same year.

He attended boot camp in Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, and was stationed in Sabana Seca and Roosevelt Roads Naval bases in Puerto Rico as part of Marine Corps Security Force Company for two years. After his time in Puerto Rico, he finished the remainder of his enlistment in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While at Camp Lejeune, he served with the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, which is where Davis and Silva served together, 2nd Battalion 6th Marines and 3rd Battalion 6th Marines. During that time, Davis made two separate deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.    

Since HFOT started in 2004, nearly 90 cents out of every dollar spent has gone directly to their program services for Veterans. If you would like to learn more about the organization or to make a donation, please click here.
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This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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