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Beyond the Battlefield: U.S. Army Veteran’s New Chapter in Accessible Smart Living

January 30, 2024

In early 2016, a couple of months into her deployment in Bagram, Afghanistan, U.S. Army Specialist (SPC) Maggie Bilyeu was critically injured. She sustained multiple shrapnel wounds to her chest and torso, a broken leg and numerous internal injuries as a result of a bombing.

After returning to the U.S. for care, Maggie was diagnosed with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), loss of hearing and tinnitus. She also lost her left leg below the knee as a result of the attack. Since then, Maggie has been working hard at her rehabilitation.

The Home Depot Foundation partnered with Tunnel to Towers to present Maggie and her wife with a mortgage-free smart home that is specially adapted to her accessibility needs. The house is outfitted with automatic doors, oversized doorways and wider hallways. Every feature of the home can be controlled through a tablet or a smart device.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program helps our most catastrophically injured veterans and first responders reclaim their day-to-day independence. These homes come with high-tech features including automated doors and lighting, special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, automatic door openers and more.

Giving back to veterans is personal to The Home Depot, as more than 35,000 of the company’s associates are veterans or military spouses. Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has partnered with Tunnel to Towers to build more than 100 smart homes for combat-wounded veterans and invested more than $500 million in veteran causes. This ensures more of our nation’s heroes have a safe, comfortable home that fits their individual needs.