(PEYTON, Colo.) — U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro “DT” Jr. and his family were welcomed to their new home by the Colorado Springs community on Wednesday morning.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation provides mortgage-free homes to catastrophically injured veterans and first responders, Gold Star, and fallen first responder families with young children.
“It’s just something that we are so centered on, so focused on,” said Larry Olson, Senior Vice President of Marketing of Tunnel to Towers Foundation. “Helping this amazing family, this heroic family, and to give back to this family when they have sacrificed so much for our country. It’s just such an honor and a pleasure.”
Outside of the home, Colorado Springs service members gathered to honor and support the family’s new home.
“It just means everything to see not only the love come to fruition and in the home but also honoring who they are and what they’ve done,” said Olson. “These are folks you’ve heard that speak of that sense of humility that he didn’t want to accept this. He didn’t want to accept this gift.”
While in Afghanistan, SMSgt Del Toro hit an IED and the explosion caused him to be critically injured. More than 80 percent of his body was burned and he lost all his fingers on his left hand. The fingers on his right hand were amputated at his knuckles.
The new house has smart technology, an automatic door, and wide hallways to better help him with his everyday activities.
SMSgt Del Toro was at a loss for words when answering what it was like to be in his new house.
“All of this, the donated couches, the bed, the dining room, and that building this home it’s crazy,” said SMSgt Del Toro. “It’s like, I can’t put it to words, really.”
Another feature of the house is that it is mortgage-free.
“I’m limited on how I can earn a living and just not having that burden of, ‘oh my god, how am I going to pay that the mortgage this year,’ that means a lot,” said SMSgt Del Toro.
He retired from the Air Force in 2019 and is honored for serving and protecting our country.
“You always hear thank you for your service. You know, we’ll take care of you,” said SMSgt Del Toro. “And when you see something like this, it really hits you like, oh, my god, they really do care.”
SMSgt Del Toro and his family explored their new home and the views of Pikes Peak.
Click here for information on volunteering, fundraising, or donating to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.