Meet Daus Hempker, his fiancée Jessie Alianiello, and their dog Alala. Daus, Jessie and Alala are just one of the amazing families receiving a Built to Honor home in 2018.  I invite you to take a few minutes to learn about their story; it will make you smile.

As you can tell from this image, this is clearly a family of three, as Daus’ service dog Alala is a vital and loving part of the pack.

Alala shows the scars of a hard life. Battered and bruised, she was dropped at a shelter and was just days from being euthanized when Daus and Jessie entered her life. From that day forward, she has been a constant companion and steadfast support to Daus through the highs and lows of countless surgeries tied to injuries suffered during his military service. In the end, I think Daus and Alala rescued each other.

Given the hardships life piled upon them, it would have been understandable if Daus and Alala had become angry and resentful or had simply given up. Instead, they demonstrate an inner strength and positive view on the world that we can all learn from.  Our Columbus team recently hosted a Notes of Love event for Daus, Jessie and most definitely Alala.  Once again, let me say how proud I am of our Built to Honor program and each of you for making this possible. Five years and more than 50 homes later, you continue to change the lives of our wounded servicemen and women.

Extending the Columbus division’s pet-themed Notes of Love, you may all recall my dog, Smokey, from one of my first blog posts. Smokey and the entire Marshall family are privileged to build a home for Daus, Jessie and Alala. You answered the call to defend our freedoms and protect us from harm. We are ever grateful and hope you find peace and comfort in your home.

Please share your message of encouragement to Daus and his family in the comments below, and we’ll make sure they see it.

Three other divisions are involved in Built to Honor builds, so stay tuned for more inspiring stories.