Tim McGraw, Chase and Operation Homefront Donate Home to Wounded Warrior in Georgia
Operation Homefront was pleased to join Tim McGraw
to award a mortgage-free home to Staff Sergeant Kevin Biddle, US Army (Retired). The Biddles were invited to attend McGraw's concert, meet him personally and get the news about their home. His wife, Brittney, blogged about the move
and being surprised even more by receiving vouchers to buy new furniture for their home from American Signature Furniture
.Read the rest of their story:
For as long as he could remember, Kevin wanted to be in the Army. In 2003, he decided to make that career decision and joined the Army in Kennesaw, Georgia. After enlisting, going through all his basic and advanced training, as a 92 Foxtrot, fuel handler, he, his wife Brittney, and his daughters Breanna and Caitlin, headed for their first assignment with the 1st Armored Division in Germany. Life was good.
But all good things had to come to an end, so in 2006, the Biddle’s moved to Fort Bliss, Texas where Kevin was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. The days were long and he was advancing in his specialty, but before long, and not too much after the birth of his son, Nicholas, he began what was to be his first of two deployments to Iraq.
While in Iraq with the “First Team,” Kevin’s duties went far beyond fuel handling. It also included vehicle gunner and other convoy security duties. Convoys were often attacked with improvised explosive devices, mortars, or armed assaults. It was during one such incident in 2007, near Mosul, that Staff Sgt. Biddle found his convoy under an intense attack and he was severely injured. He was treated in country and finished out his combat tour and came home in late 2007.
After a short time at home with his family at Fort Bliss, SSG Biddle was assigned to the 1st Armored Division, where he met a few of his fellow warriors from the 1st Armored Division units in Germany in which he had served earlier. Again, it wasn’t long until he was headed back to Iraq. It was there that after being exposed to RPG, mortar, and rocket attacks, the full extent of the injuries from his previous tour became evident. He was medevac’d home during his 2009 deployment because of the nerve/spinal damages worsening so the pain became too intense for him to wear his gear and hold his weapon. Also, while his PTSD had started to show when he returned home from his first deployment, it was not professionally diagnosed until late 2009.
He returned to Fort Bliss in late 2009. After months of surgeries, procedures, therapies, appointments, and permanent profiles, Kevin began the Medical Evaluation Board process in early 2010. In late September of 2011, Kevin got the news that he was being medically retired.
Since November 12, 2011, the Biddle’s have been living in Mena, AR, hoping to start the transition into the "normal" civilian life. Little did they know that "normal" was out of the question. They hoped Mena would provide the small town life to help Kevin to adjust to life outside of the Army. However, the numerous, constant, and log distant VA visits needed for his recovery caused even more physical pain and issues. Currently, they live with their three children, now 10, 9 and 5 and their pit bull, Riley, who has become a therapy to Kevin. Riley picks up on his mood changes, nightmares and so much more before anyone else can.
The Biddle’s discovered Operation Homefront after hearing about it through word of mouth. They decided to submit an application for a home, never dreaming they would actually receive a call. They hoped to return to Georgia to be closer to their family, as well as better medical care not only for Kevin, but also for the rest of the family. Through the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program, the Biddle’s were awarded with a mortgage free home in Macon, Georgia, only a couple hours away from family. This new home will finally give them the opportunity to stabilize their family in a place where Kevin can get the medical treatment and rehabilitation he needs, and Brittney and her children can have a more normal life, get their respective educations, good healthcare, and be able to look toward a long, bright future.