Chattanooga Firefighters Help Build House For Injured Veteran In Maine

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Eight Chattanooga firefighters are spending their summer vacations building a home -- in only 12 days -- for an injured Army veteran in Oxford, Me.  
 
Lt. Tyler Swindell, FF Jake Case, FFE Mark Coffman, FFE Joe Fuller, FFE Brandon O’Dell, FFE Britt Bradshaw, FF Josh Hixson, and FFE Keith Mosley are all supporting construction of a mortgage-free smart home for retired Army Sgt. Christy Gardner, a double amputee who was severely injured while serving as part of a peacekeeping mission in Asia in 2006. 
 
Sgt.
Gardner, a Paralympian and former military police officer, suffered life-threatening injuries while on patrol, including skull fractures, internal injuries, two missing fingers, brain injury and spinal cord damage that caused leg paralysis below her knees.  Dozens of surgeries and hundreds of hours of grueling rehabilitation later, Sgt. Gardner was medically retired from the Army in 2007 and returned to her native Maine for help from family in her recovery and care. After suffering from severe pain caused by nerve damage, Sgt. Gardner made the decision to have both of her lower legs amputated. She has since gone on to compete in elite-level athletic programs, including the Paralympics, and hopes to join the U.S. Paralympic Team for the 2021 games in Tokyo in August. Sgt. Gardner also founded her own non-profit, Mission Working Dogs, to train purpose-bred dogs to aid individuals with disabilities so the handler can live a full and more independent life.
 
The home build is overseen by A Soldier’s Journey Home, a 100 percent volunteer-driven  non-profit that is made up primarily of firefighters and veterans from throughout the country.  The Chattanooga firefighters have been an integral part of ASJH builds for veterans since 2014, constructing homes in Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio and Texas in addition to Maine this year, officials said.     
 
“A Soldier’s Journey Home is very grateful for the dedication and support provided by the Chattanooga Fire Department volunteers. They are an integral part of our organization and our builds, and we are fortunate to have them with us each year.  It is the true meaning of brotherhood,” said ret. FDNY Lieutenant Paddy Neville, A Soldier’s Journey Home president. 
 
The home will be finished and the keys turned over to Sgt. Gardner in a ceremony on June 19.

Traffic Light Outage Planned At Hixson Pike And Middle Valley Road On Tuesday

Chattanooga Area Food Bank Welcomes New 2021-2022 Board Members

Upcoming Road Closures Announced


On Tuesday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the traffic light at the intersection of Hixson Pike and Middle Valley Road will be off for maintenance. During the outage, the intersection must be treated ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank welcomes six new members to its 2021-2022 Board of Directors: Rob Reagan, CTO, Text Request; Tracey Smith, account representative, Mutual of America; Maeghan Jones, ... (click for more)

Here are upcoming road closings: East 23rd and Polk Street Single lane closures on Polk Street southbound and East 23rd Street westbound will take place ... (click for more)



Happenings

Traffic Light Outage Planned At Hixson Pike And Middle Valley Road On Tuesday

On Tuesday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the traffic light at the intersection of Hixson Pike and Middle Valley Road will be off for maintenance. During the outage, the intersection must be treated as a three-way stop. The public should use caution when approaching the intersection. View CDOT's map of events and road closures fo r full details of these activities ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Food Bank Welcomes New 2021-2022 Board Members

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank welcomes six new members to its 2021-2022 Board of Directors: Rob Reagan, CTO, Text Request; Tracey Smith, account representative, Mutual of America; Maeghan Jones, president, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; Jennifer McIntyre, financial advisor, Raymond James & Associates; Martha Leiper, executive vice president, chief investment officer, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Walden Rezoning, Intended To Clear Way For Grocery Complex, Violated Land Use Regulations And The Law, Bradley County Judge Rules

A Bradley County judge has found that Walden officials’ 2019 decision to rezone a piece of property so it could be used for a grocery store complex was “illegal, arbitrary and capricious.” Consequently, Judge J. Michael Sharp said in a decision released Monday, the ordinance is declared invalid. The judge denied a request from landowner/developer/attorney John Anderson to ... (click for more)

Things Were Looking Good At The Convention Center, But Now Mike Shuford Is "Not So Sure"; Getting Workers Is Big Headache

Things were looking good at the Chattanooga Convention Center with new bookings starting to come on the books after the ruinous COVID seemed to be finally waning. However, longtime Executive Director Mike Shuford said with the new highly contagious Delta strain, "I'm not so sure." He said some who had planned future events are having second thoughts. Another big problem ... (click for more)

Opinion

Big Dogs At The City Get Most Of The Salary Money

The current crisis concerning recycling is nothing more than too much pork in the high end paychecks. The top 31 combined salaries in the city of Chattanooga amounts to $3,750,000 per year. That's right folks, millions. The average pay for these people is $121,000 coming from our hard-earned tax dollars. The average income of the citizens of Chattanooga is $26,200 per year based ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Liberty Above Mandates

It is no secret I’ve been on the COVID vaccine bandwagon since the very get-go. Due to my compromised immune system and my age (72) I am one of those at-risk people and I got my first shot the first minute I could; around Valentine’s Day. Since then, I’ve used my opinion pulpit to push the vaccine as hard as possible because I am totally convinced it saves lives. Therefore, this ... (click for more)