MAJ Darlene “Dolly” Harris

Howell Township, NJ

A sense of adventure and dedication to her country led Dolly to enlist in the military in 1988, joining the New Jersey Army National Guard.

In 2005, during a combat deployment in Iraq, Major Harris was serving with the 42nd Division as a logistics officer when she began experiencing difficulties with balance and mobility.

After returning to the United States, she was diagnosed with Service-Connected Multiple Sclerosis, a condition attributed to frequent exposure to burn pits and damaged vehicles during her service in Iraq.

Since her diagnosis in 2006, Dolly’s condition has significantly declined. She cannot move her legs, and damage to her spinal cord continues to progressively limit mobility in her arms.

Dolly is involved with the Ocean County Coin Club, where she has made many friends. A former active member of the VFW, Dolly is looking forward to her HFOT home giving her the freedom to participate in community events again, as well as allowing her to return to fishing, her favorite activity.

A specially adapted custom home will greatly improve the quality of Dolly’s life. In her current non-adapted home, the doorways are narrow, creating daily challenges with moving from room to room. In addition to an accessible shower, open floor plan, and a kitchen with pull-down shelving, she is looking to regain her independence. “An adaptive home will allow me to feel better about myself. It will encourage me to focus on what I can do versus what I can’t do.”

Dolly is choosing to build in her home state of New Jersey.

Dolly would like HFOT donors and supporters to know they are changing Veterans’ lives. “Thank you for caring about Veterans. I am so thankful for HFOT—thankful that you seek to improve a Veteran’s living accommodations and improve a Veteran’s existence.”

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