Saint Louis Police Officer Michael Flamion, who was shot and paralyzed during a traffic stop in July 2016, recently moved into a “smart home” provided for him by the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The house in Ballwin, Missouri, is specially adapted, with lighting, heating and cooling that can be controlled throughout with one switch and halls and counters sized for a wheelchair. The Sinise Foundation, named for founder, actor Gary Sinise, has given away 43 houses to wounded veterans and has an additional 18 in planning or design stages across the country. Flamion is the first police officer the group is supporting.
“These are the heroes that live next door,” said Scott Schaeperkoetter, director of operations for Sinise’s R.I.S.E., or Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment. “We can’t do it ourselves, and this community has just been amazing,” Schaeperkoetter added.
Between 90 and 100 St. Louis area companies donated labor, materials and money through fundraisers to make the home possible. The Gary Sinise Foundation learned of Flamion’s injuries through board member Jim Shubert, who owns Shubert Design Furniture in Manchester.
Sinise did not attend the ceremony but sent a note: “Thank you for serving the public good through law enforcement. Welcome home, sir. God bless you my friend.”
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