The holidays are looking a lot different this year, in more ways than one. For Army SPC Terrence “Bo” Jones, having a customized forever home truly embodies the season’s spirit of generosity: a mission Bo personifies in his new civilian life.
Bo, who endured130 surgeries after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2012, lost his legs that day. He continues to cope with significant damages to his left arm: its bones fused at the elbow. Despite all of his daily challenges, Bo has made it his mission to pay it forward. He began taking welding classes following his injuries, and today Bo builds custom wheelchairs with the company, Box Wheelchair, helping other veterans facing similar plights.
On November 24, Bo received an incredible holiday gift of his own when he was handed the keys to his new, mortgage-free Smart Home in Victoria, TX, thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Engineered specifically to meet Bo’s needs, the home boasts gorgeous hardwood floors, wider hallways, and even a unique sink that Bo can easily access from his wheelchair. Perhaps best of all, the home has a brand-new workshop for Bo, where he can build wheelchairs for others. “Building wheelchairs, especially for other vets, means a lot to me,” Bo said. “I know when I build a chair and send it out…I know their life is going to be better.”
El Campo Carpet One in El Campo, TX, and Alexander’s Carpet One in Corpus Christi, TX, assisted with the efforts to help Bo enjoy all of the comforts of home. Alexander’s Carpet One spokeswoman Doris Garza said she learned about the Foundation’s ongoing partnership with Carpet One while attending a convention several years back.
“It was very emotional for me,” said Doris, fighting back the tears. She recalled how she was particularly touched by an injured veteran who spoke at that convention. “He wore his wedding band on a chain around his neck,” she recalled. “That’s where it hit home for me: I knew I had to help somehow, and a seed was planted.”
When Doris and her team learned that another Smart Home project was underway in her home state, they jumped at the opportunity to become actively involved. After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, fundraising didn’t go exactly as planned, but that didn’t matter for Doris: she gladly gifted flooring for the entire home. “We take so many little things for granted,” she noted. “It was an honor to help with Bo’s hardwood floors.”
El Campo Carpet One spokesman Kirk Gaines said the home’s adaptive features would allow Bo to live an independent life. The company provided installation services for Bo’s new flooring.
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