During this summer’s concerts at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, Va., performing artists were asked to autograph guitars to raise money for a new home for Navy veteran Andrew Bottrell, who was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10 and suffered extreme injuries from an improvised explosive device. More than a dozen artists signed guitars, including country stars Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, the Dixie Chicks, the Doobie Brothers, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith.
During a company-wide auction at Veterans United Home Loans, the autographed guitars raised $44,000 to help build a smart home for Andrew, who lost both of his legs and left arm in the explosion. The home will be built in San Diego by the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), which provides mortgage-free homes customized specifically to the needs of severely wounded veterans. The donation from the employee auction is in addition to a $300,000 gift the Veterans United Foundation made in February toward the construction.
“I am incredibly honored the employees at Veterans United Home Loans chose me as the beneficiary of this fundraiser,” Andrew said. “I am eternally grateful to them and the Gary Sinise Foundation for this amazing gift and for everything they do for the Veteran community.”