New York (Sept. 18, 2011) – A decorated veteran of two military services received the keys to a mortgage-free home—provided by the Military Warriors Support Foundation and donated by Chase—during the New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium against the Jacksonville Jaguars today.
Matt Zames, JPMorgan Managing Director, presented keys to a surprised former U.S. Army Specialist Matthew Whipple in front of thousands of Jets and Jaguars fans attending the game. Whipple's new home will be in Elk Grove, Calif.
Whipple grew up knowing that he wanted to join the military. His father retired from the Navy after 28 years of service, and many of his relatives also served. He remembers watching the news and seeing U.S. soldiers in Iraq helping rebuild a country in need, and he wanted to be part of that. Whipple joined the Army in 2003 as Cavalry Scout while still in his senior year of high school.
In 2005 Whipple's combat deployment to Iraq took him to the volatile area of Ramadi. The small Forward Operating Base where he was assigned was hit constantly with incoming mortar rounds, and on patrols direct fire with insurgents was common. In the 7 months he was deployed, his vehicle was hit by five direct IEDs. In October 2005, after a significant IED explosion to his vehicle, Whipple sustained a traumatic brain injury and injuries to his ankle.
After his tour in the Army, and in spite of his injuries, Matthew enlisted in the Navy, attaining the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer before being discharged.
Whipple's military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Combat Action Badge, the Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal.
"Chase is honored to present this home to Matthew and have the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices he and his fellow veterans have made for our freedom," said Zames. "All who have served have placed a high value on protecting home and family by defending us. Providing homes to veterans like Matthew is one small way of expressing our thanks for their service."
Since early 2010, Chase has donated 100 percent mortgage-free homes to the MWSF's Homes4Wounded Heroes program. The homes, for families who have severe or unique circumstances due to their injuries while serving our country, typically are valued between $150,000 and $200,000. Chase inspects and renovates the homes, investing up to $50,000 for paint, carpet, appliances, landscaping and accessibility options.
"With support from Chase, the Military Warriors Support Foundation can help America's heroes and their families make a fresh start in homes of their own," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Leroy Sisco, MWSF Founder and CEO. "Veterans who sustained severe injuries while serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve more than our thanks. That's why we provide homes and mentoring to help the transition to civilian life."
About Military Warriors Support Foundation
The Military Warriors Support Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting combat wounded veterans during their transition to civilian life. MWSF's signature programs include Homes4WoundedHeroes, awarding mortgage-free homes to those injured during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan; CEOs4Heroes, partnering with corporations that provide employment opportunities for veterans; Skills4Life, providing mentoring and Education4Heroes, offering scholarships and education counseling. For more information, visit MilitaryWarriors.org.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 5,200 bank branches, 16,200 ATMs, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. Chase also has issued more than 90 million credit cards. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.