CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – The home of a fallen Iowa State Trooper has been paid off in full, thanks to a nonprofit organization.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced on Thursday it has fully paid off the family’s mortgage.
The Iowa State Patrol said Trooper Ted Benda was responding to a call for service when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer while driving at high speed. He later died from his injuries. Trooper Benda had served in state law enforcement for more than 16 years.
He is survived by his wife, Holly, and their four daughters. His youngest daughter was born in September 2021.
In a press release, the nonprofit said its Fallen First Responder Home Program pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty, leaving behind young children.
“Our mortgage was our largest monthly expense,” Ted Benda’s wife Hollly Benda said in the release. “Eliminating that expense has given me the opportunity to focus solely on my children and their needs without the worry of paying a mortgage. I am not only trying to raise my children with my values and interests in mind, but I am now trying to also fulfill my husband’s role and instill his values in them so that they always feel his love.”
Tunnel to Towers said it has paid off the mortgages on 22 homes belonging to fallen first responders in 16 states ahead of Independence Day.
“As we celebrate America’s freedom this Fourth of July, I am honored to give these fallen first responder families the financial freedom of owning their home, mortgage-free,” said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller. “While you are celebrating with flags and fireworks this weekend, please take a moment to think of these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe and those who will continue to put their lives at risk every day.”
A funeral was held for Trooper Benda in October 2021 at Waukon High School.
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