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Family Story

Transitional Home Allows Child to Thrive

By Operation Homefront

December 22, 2023

Veteran’s Transitional Home Allows Child Using Wheelchair to Thrive

Each time Navy veteran David Kane and wife Amanda watch their daughter and son work together in the kitchen of their home, the parents are reassured they chose the right place to settle.  

The family has three children, Kaylee, 15; Natalie, 8; and Andrew, 6.  

They chose to make their home in North Texas when David retired in 2022 after 20 years of military service because the region offers good access to medical care and support services for Andrew. 

“Andrew was diagnosed with spina bifida before he was born and will need access to a neurosurgeon for the rest of his life,” David said. “Transferring medical care is not easy.” 

The boy navigates the kitchen easily and wheels up to the kitchen island to help prepare food alongside sister Natalie. 

“This is the first kitchen we’ve ever been able to cook with him in,” Amanda said. “Having the space for the wheelchair to move around and get to the counters and show him how to make food – that’s huge.” 

The family struggled to find a budget-friendly house that would accommodate their family of five and Andrew’s wheelchair, so they turned to the national nonprofit Operation Homefront, which offers a variety of programs to keep military and veteran families strong, stable, and secure.  

The Kanes were delighted and relieved when their application for Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) program received approval. The single-story four-bedroom, three-bathroom house – made possible through the generosity of Pillsbury – is in Crowley, Texas, just outside Fort Worth.  

Through the THV program, veteran families who are within three years of discharge live rent-free for about two years while paying down debt, building savings, becoming established in the community, and working toward civilian careers. They participate in financial counseling and homeowner-education programs to help them achieve their goals.  

“Operation Homefront is helping us grow together in learning how to do finances. I’m really excited to be that positive role model for our kids.” – David Kane, Navy veteran

Since the program began in 2018, almost all the 25 families graduating from the program have purchased homes near their THV communities. The program currently has 41 homes in its inventory, and it has saved families almost $1.3 million in housing costs.  

David joined the Navy in 2002, feeling it was his patriotic duty after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

The petty officer first class spent 17 years as a hospital corpsman, including a tour aboard the USS Harry S. Truman and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. On his final assignment, he was the lone medical care provider for the sailors aboard the USS Fort Worth. 

He noted that the family and his command found it funny that he left the Fort Worth to live in Fort Worth. 

David and Amanda met in their church youth group as teens when he and his family moved from California to Michigan. It wasn’t until he deployed to Iraq, however, that they reconnected across continents through social media. 

After multiple military moves and months of separation during sea duty and deployment, the couple and their children are eager to settle down.  

They have become involved in the Spina Bifida Association, and they look forward to their children participating in RISE, an adaptive sports community that involves siblings.  

“The opportunity that Operation Homefront and Pillsbury are giving us feels like we’re growing into a family in a new location and being welcomed with open arms,” David said. “There’s no question in my mind that Operation Homefront completely understands the emotional and physical needs that veterans and veteran families have. It’s a major blessing.” 

Soon after entering the THV program, David began working for a homebuilder. The additional income is helping the family make strides toward their goal of purchasing a home.  

“Being able to build our savings will be huge for the ease of our lives,” David said. “Operation Homefront is helping us grow together in learning how to do finances. I’m really excited to be that positive role model for our kids.” 

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