CPT Joseph Caley
Joseph Caley always admired his father, an Army Lieutenant Colonel for over 20 years. When it came time for him to decide on a career path, enlisting in the Army seemed like a natural fit and a way to honor his father and country.
On Sept. 18, 2009, during his first combat deployment, Captain Caley, then an Infantry platoon leader, was on patrol with the 1-155th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in Kalsu, Iraq. CPT Caley was moving an injured civilian to safety when a second IED explosion occurred. In this blast, he sustained severe damage to his left leg and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
After 11 years of attempting to save his leg, Joseph decided to have doctors amputate it below the knee in January 2021.
Medically retired, Joseph enjoys gardening, especially collecting and growing Japanese maples. When he’s not tending to his garden, he’s taking swings out on the green. He became an avid golfer after being introduced to the sport during his recovery. He also enjoys other adaptive outdoor activities like hunting.
The current home Joseph shares with his wife Mary and their two children, Alaina and Joseph, is especially meaningful to him as it is the first one they have owned. However, the house presents unavoidable challenges for Joseph, especially after his amputation. Most of the home cannot accommodate a wheelchair, forcing him to remain in one room separate from his family when his prosthetic is off. It is disheartening for Joseph that he has never been able to carry his son up the stairs. “That’s something a dad should be able to do,” he says.
In a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home, Joseph will be able to access every room, enabling him to be more present with his family and participate more in activities. Regaining his freedom and independence in the home will motivate him to get involved with his community more by working at local golf events and teaching other injured Veterans adaptive outdoor activities. “I will be able to move freely, have the simple things whether I’m in my wheelchair or prosthetic, and be able to entertain guests without everyone having to shuffle around to make room for me.”
Originally from Georgia, Joseph is choosing to remain in the state because he and Mary love the area and are raising their children there.
Joseph is grateful to HFOT’s donors and supporters for providing him with this gift. “A home is so important to all of us, but a home that lets me truly LIVE in it will be life-changing.”