Middleboro, MA

Mission Accomplished on February 27, 2010

Army Staff Sergeant Michael Downing was on his second deployment, serving as an Infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division and the 27th Brigade Combat Team (Army National Guard), when he lost both legs in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Afghanistan in September 2008. The force of the blast blew SSG Downing from the truck he was in. Quick action by patrol leaders secured the area, while exchanging small arms fire as the medics worked to aid the wounded.

SSG Downing, after calling out to each of his team members to check on their conditions, suddenly realized he had significant damage to both of his legs, and a severely injured arm. He was placed on the hood of a truck and rolled to a more secure area. Transported first to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, he was later airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany, and then to Walter Reed Medical Center.

After moving into his HFOT home, Mike was able to focus on his family and recovery. He loved spending time with his wife Dawnalee and their four children.  He also found time for hunting, fishing, playing golf, and coaching his daughter’s softball team, as well as being involved with the local Elks and VFW. The home removed the burden of a mortgage and the worry about living in a safe environment for him and his family. “The home enables my family to concentrate on other things, such as school and just being kids,” Michael said.

An advocate of HFOT’s mission, Mike attended numerous HFOT fundraiser events, and spoke on the organization’s behalf.  He always dropped the puck at HFOT’s annual fundraising game against the Boston Bruins’ Alumni.  He was grateful to the supporters of HFOT who helped with his home project.

Homes For Our Troops extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Army Staff Sergeant Michael Downing, who passed away on Aug. 20, 2020. He was a valued member of the HFOT Family, always willing to pay it forward by participating in HFOT events with his wife Dawnalee, and speaking on HFOT’s behalf. We will miss him greatly.

related articles:

  • Southcoast Today, Oct. 8, 2020 What do you say when one of our own highly decorated war Veterans passes away way before his time? Perhaps the thought we should have is that he completed his final mission. Read more.
  • Taunton Daily Gazette, June 4, 2018 On Thursday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., stopped by the HFOT headquarters on Main Street to congratulate the organization for reaching the 250-home milestone and present the office with framed remarks from the U.S. House of Representatives. Read more.