Hillsdale, NJ

Mission Accomplished on Nov. 10, 2009

On April 21, 2004, while serving in Iraq, Corporal Visnu Gonzalez was shot by a sniper, severing his spinal cord in the C-6, C-7 level. He was also shot in his left subclavian artery that caused severe bleeding and near death. Despite surgery to stabilize his vertebra, today, Cpl Gonzalez remains paralyzed from the upper chest down.

Homes For Our Troops built Cpl Gonzalez a LEED Platinum house that is specially adapted to his needs. We are proud to say this is the first home in the nation to achieve the EPA’s Energy Star Climate Choice Tier 3 certification in addition to receiving 95 points under LEED for Homes.

Visnu’s mother and caregiver, Maria Baez-Dominguez, says her family is forever grateful to their Homes For Our Troops home. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We salute all the Veterans and organizations such as yours for helping our wounded Veterans live a respectful and better life, despite their difficulties,” she says.

Since receiving his home, Visnu has gotten married to his wife Sahily Melissa Machado Burton. In December 2018, they became parents to a baby girl named Lia. Visnu expresses his heartfelt gratitude to all the donors and supporters who contributed to the building of his home. “This home restored my sense of safety, dignity, hope,” he says. “Thank you for making me feel that I served for a purpose. Even though the results were not as I anticipated, I would do it all again, if it meant the safety of my country and the world.”

related articles:

  • Good Morning America, March 12, 2019 HFOT Veteran and Marine Visnu Gonzalez who was left paralyzed after sustaining sniper wounds in Iraq welcomed a miracle baby girl against all odds, with the help of a New York City doctor whose own father was paralyzed from military service.
    Read more.