Staten Island, NY, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This July 4th, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation is honored to announce it has paid, in full, the mortgages on the homes of 22 fallen first responders around the country. The Foundation has ensured the families these heroes left behind will be able to stay in the homes they shared with their loved ones.
Tunnel to Towers has paid off the mortgage on the homes of:
- Louisville Metro Police Officer Zachary Cottongim
- Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Bryant Gladney
- Jefferson Township Firefighter Thomas Rees
- North Carolina State Highway Patrol Master Trooper John Horton
- Mesquite Police Department Police Officer Richard Lee Houston II
- Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agent Anthony Salas
- Harris County Constable Kareem Atkins
- Sterling Fire Department Captain Garrett Ramos
- Chicago Police Officer Paul Nauden
- Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff Sean Riley
- Former Sayville Fire Department Fire Chief Lawrence Sesso
- FDNY Lieutenant Joseph Maiello
- Iowa State Trooper Theodore Benda
- Henry County Police Officer Paramhans Desai
- Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison
- Wakefield Fire Lieutenant Robert Ford Sr.
- New Hampshire State Police Staff Sgt. Jesse Sherrill
- Pascagoula Fire Department Captain Jacob Latch
- South Metro Fire Rescue Firefighter Paramedic Anthony Palato
- Corrections Officer John Edward Grinston Keith
- Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighter Kelly Wong
The home recipients are located in 16 states, stretching across the country from California to Maine.
The Tunnel to Towers 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.
On December 3, 2021, then Lieutenant Ramos responded to a residential fire while at the scene, he fell through the first floor into the basement. He was taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on December 4, 2021. He was posthumously promoted to Captain. He left behind his wife, Brittney, and two daughters.
“In the midst of the worst reality I could imagine, Tunnel to Towers stepped in and granted me the most unexpected and generous gift, payment of our mortgage. When everything around me was crashing down, they came in and gave me and my girls stability and hope. Tunnels to Towers is allowing me to focus on grieving and taking care of my girls. I will forever be grateful to T2T for their support and for welcoming me into their family. Thank you for honoring my husband and his sacrifice with this gift,” said his wife Brittney Ramos.
Master Trooper Horton was on duty conducting a traffic stop on January 3rd, 2022 when he called for assistance. A trooper responding to the scene lost control of his vehicle and hit Master Trooper Horton and the detained driver, killing both of them. He left behind his wife, Ashley, and their six children.
Having her mortgage paid off in honor of July 4 was especially significant for Ashley Horton since it was her husband’s favorite holiday, saying “He appreciated the men and women who fought for our freedom, and he loved the fireworks, food, and festivities. Every year, John and I hosted a get-together for the 4th. I hope to continue that tradition, with an extra reason to celebrate this year, despite our family’s loss.”
“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.”
Join Tunnel to Towers on its mission to provide mortgage-free homes to America’s heroes and the families they leave behind by donating $11 per month at T2T.org.
About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For more than 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.