Eugene Cartwright

Hometown: Wilmington, California
Branch: Marine Corps
Length of service: 15 months 

Eugene Cartwright was deployed to Vietnam for two years as a part of the 26th Air Wing Squadron. There he served as a mechanic in addition to performing guard duty and patrols. His experiences during his 15 months in Vietnam resulted in longstanding post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and numerous medical conditions from exposure to Agent Orange – which require him to use a cane while walking.

Today he lives with his wife, Cheryl, and has three adult children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Semper Fi & America's Fund, helped improve Eugene's quality of life by repairing and elevating his home's exterior. This included tasks like repairing the driveway and his front and back entry steps to provide him a safe way to enter his home, securing a generator to keep his electricity running during outages, and more.

Greg Dotson

Hometown: Red Bud, Illinois
Branch: Army
Length of service: 10 years

Sergeant Greg Dotson served as an Army combat medic for 10 years. He is credited with saving the lives of more than 160 soldiers during two tours in Iraq.

In 2007, Greg was a line medic with the 1st CAV Division in Iraq when a 500 lb. high explosive bomb detonated under his legs. He lost his left leg, part of his right thigh, and sustained extensive damage to his right leg, ankle and back. He’s endured over 30 surgeries to address medical issues regarding the remaining shrapnel in his body and suffers from ongoing neurological issues.

A single dad of three girls – Annabelle, Lillian and Jane – Greg is an active member of his surrounding community. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Semper Fi & America's Fund, provided him with exterior home enhancements and a workshop area to help him enjoy the hobbies that provide stress relief and give him a feeling of purpose.

Chester Hood

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Branch: Navy
Length of service: 4 years

Chester Hood is a Navy veteran who served for four years. In October 2020, he lost his wife, Seydell, to whom he was married for 59 long years. Throughout their life, Chester and Seydell had a great love for their home, which was built by her grandfather. Before her passing, Seydell asked that the house be kept up and protected.

Due to various medical conditions, Chester now has one of his daughters or a caretaker with him at all times. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with HouseProud Atlanta, fulfilled Seydell’s wish by completing a series of external projects, including painting the body of the home, building a bench, mulching the yard and finishing the floating deck. The Foundation also surprised Chester with a new suite of kitchen appliances. 

Bright Oppong

Hometown: Yorkville, Illinois 
Branch: Army
Length of service: 6 years

Bright Oppong enlisted in the Army and served as an Automated Logistical Specialist after immigrating from Ghana through a lottery program. He taught mathematics in his native country but always aspired to be a soldier. A shoulder injury forced him to retire after six years with chronic pain, and the early end of his military career resulted in a lot of stress, anxiety and depression.

Today, Bright works full-time as a Veterans Affairs Contract Specialist and is in the process of earning his MBA. He and his wife, Patience, have recently moved into a new home where they live with their three children, Vanessa, Stephanie and Jadrien.

To help their new house feel even more like home, The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Operation Homefront, helped beautify the Oppong family’s backyard, including installing a new fence and patio.
 

Sean Perales

Hometown: Oakland Park, Florida
Branch: Army
Length of service: 6 years

Sean Perales served in the Army for six years as a Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist before being medically retired in September 2019 after suffering a career-ending injury during combat in Iraq. Sean received an honorable discharge and a 100% disability rating with the VA.

After his discharge, Sean was unable to work because of his medical disabilities. Although he suffers from a traumatic brain injury, he is mostly self-sufficient. His wife, Danila, is strong by his side, providing help with his medical care.  

Sean views his backyard as a safe space where he can unwind and relax privately while being outside. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Operation Homefront, helped restore his backyard into a family-friendly hangout through landscaping services and the addition of a new deck.

Luis Rosa-Valentin

Hometown: Pasadena, Maryland
Branch: Army
Length of service: 9 years

Luis Rosa-Valentin served in the Army as a Staff Sergeant. In April 2008, he was injured from an IED blast. Because of the blast, both of his legs and his left arm were amputated, and Luis is blind in one eye.

Luis now uses a wheelchair due to his injuries and was unable to spend time in his backyard due to the lack of accessibility and condition of his deck. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Semper Fi & America's Fund, helped to update Luis' backyard to allow him to spend time outside with his five children and safely maneuver around his deck. These updates included a repaired and wheelchair-accessible deck, an awning over the deck for heat protection, and general yard landscaping.

Jessica Tutt

Hometown: Madison Heights, Michigan 
Branch: Navy & Army
Length of service: 11 years

Jessica Tutt enlisted in the Navy and served from 2003 to 2008. After leaving the Navy, she had trouble finding work during the recession, so she joined the Army. After 11 years of service, including five deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq, Jessica medically retired.  

While transitioning out of the military, Jessica moved with her daughter Ayanna and her son Kari from Georgia to her hometown of Detroit. Today, she is working toward her bachelor’s degree in business administration and currently works at a VA hospital. She also volunteers a large amount of her time helping other veterans transition from active duty to retirement/separation. 

The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with Operation Homefront, is proud to have provided Jessica and her family with landscaping services, backyard beautification, an upgraded fence and a new deck.

Carl Tyler

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia 
Branch: Marine Corps
Length of service: 4 years

Carl Tyler served in the Marine Corps as a Corporal for four years during peacetime, right before Operation Desert Storm. After the Marine Corps, Carl worked in law enforcement before his current occupation as a security officer.

One of Carl’s favorite pastimes is spending time outdoors in his backyard. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with HouseProud Atlanta, was honored to help improve his backyard oasis by installing a new privacy fence, mulching the yard, and building new flower beds, an herb garden and a floating deck.  As an added surprise, we were also able to provide Carl with two months of mortgage payments. 

Curtis Walton

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia 
Branch: Army
Length of service: 2 years

Curtis Walton served for over two years in the Army, receiving a Purple Heart and Silver Star for his duties during the Vietnam War. Curtis and his wife, Elaine, have lived in their home for almost 15 years, and, together, they have one daughter, two grandkids and one great-grandchild.

Curtis loves spending time with others and participating in outdoor hobbies like hunting and fishing. The Home Depot Foundation, in partnership with HouseProud Atlanta, helped beautify his outdoor living space by painting the trim and steps, staining the back deck, building a bench, mulching the yard and repainting his deck. We were honored to surprise him with new kitchen appliances and a custom worktable for Curtis to clean his fish.