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New non-profit looking to welcome Pfc. Corey Kent home

By Staff | May 30, 2011

Former WINK TV news anchor Trey Radel is trying to help returning veterans with his newly formed non-profit agency “US Forces Fund”, and his first mission, so to speak, is to help welcome home Pfc. Corey Kent.
It’s still unclear when Kent will return home to Cape Coral, according to his step father Dan Ashby. But when he does, Radel is hoping a $75,000 house addition will give a sense of freedom and independence.
Radel is hoping to to get the community involved in the fundraising. Whether its a check for $1,000 or someone lending some manpower, Radel said any bit will help to make Kent’s return home a special one.
“We hope to pull the community to come forward,” Radel said. “The idea is to give him a sense of independence. Not only will it be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible, but it will give Corey a sense of living on his own.”
Dan Ashby said Corey, who was severely wounded in Afghanistan, worked with US Forces Fund and the project’s contractor, Bonita based Gates Construction, to tailor the new addition to his needs.
Todd Gates from GATES Construction said the new addition will be 400 – 500 square feet, meet all the ADA requirements and feature technologies that will help to foster his independence.
Like Radel, Gates said any amount of donations will help to make the project a reality.
“We’re looking at in-kind donations from money to materials to supplies to labor,” Gates said. “We need to build it one brick at a time and all offers will be appreciated.”
Dan Ashby said Corey’s recovery is progressing well, and that he has now begun learning to use a second set of prosthetic legs that make it easier to walk, as well re-learning how to drive.
Ashby said they are going to try to bring Corey home for a break this summer, but the details of that trip are still being worked out.
He’s looking forward to getting back home permanently, though, Ashby said. And his spirits were high as he continues to work through his rehabilitation.
He said the new addition will go a long way to fostering Corey’s future independence, featuring his own separate entrance but also access to the house in case of emergencies.
“He’ll have the best of both worlds,” Ashby said. “We want him to be independent, he wanted to be independent.”
Helping to build the addition for Kent is the first project of the overall plan for US Forces Fun, Radel said, which is to lend a helping hand to all returning men and women of the armed forces.
Radel said Kent’s story, and strength, were an inspiration.
“I’ve been watching and following and seeing the young men and women come home maimed or in caskets,” Radel said. “His (Corey’s) story inspired us to want to move forward with the project and help his family out.”
To make donations or to learn more about the project, or the US Forces Fund, visit their website at usforcesfund.com.