Wounded soldiers returning home face unique challenges for their everyday lives.
The Wounded Warrior Home Project was put in place for those men and women who have dedicated themselves to serving and protecting their country but need living spaces like a Wounded Warrior Patriot Home that would meet their new definition of “normal.”
With the help of various organizations, including scientists, engineers, psychologists, architects, builders, designers, and realtors, the project birthed two single-family home designs that help support wounded soldiers returning to active duty.
These residences house the service members and their families who live at the army base of Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
Fort Belvoir Housing: 2 Home Prototypes Built for Disabled Needs
Two different home prototypes were designed and built for the Wounded Warrior Home Project. Each offers unique features and amenities that make life easier for wounded or disabled servicemen and women.
19 more homes based on these designs were built at Fort Belvoir to accommodate wounded warriors and their families.
Both homes feature designs based on principles of universal accessibility. This is a design that is usable by all types of people, no matter their abilities or physical handicaps, according to the University of Washington. More importantly, the design works universally for all people without needing to be modified or adapted.
The homes also take into account a wounded soldier’s physical and emotional well-being and aim to improve both.
The Patriot Home
Featuring a bright-red exterior that brings to mind the red of the American flag, the Patriot model is a cheerful house with a welcoming feel.
The home’s exterior features were designed with security, privacy, and safety in mind.
- Door and window sensors, as well as entry point lighting and a video monitoring system, deliver extra security.
- Thresholds that are level, with no stairs or inclines, make them easily accessible for those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty with mobility.
- Automatic doors help with ease-of-movement from outdoors to indoors.
The interior features of the home give wounded soldiers every opportunity to live better and carry out daily tasks more easily.
- The floor plan was designed for maximum flow and ease-of-movement.
- Ample space surrounding permanent fixtures as well as wide hallways give lots of room for maneuvering wheelchairs.
- Tabletop and countertop surfaces throughout the home are height-adjustable, and lower cabinets in the kitchen are removable to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Door and cabinet handles throughout the home are large and ergonomically-friendly. There are also sliding doors throughout, which are easier to open for those with mobility issues.
- Bathrooms feature floors laid with small mosaic tiles, which provide better traction, curbless shower entries, and anchored grab bars at convenient spots.
The third bedroom in each home has the ability to be converted into a therapy room for healing.
Storage provides plenty of space to keep wheelchairs, therapeutic equipment, prosthetic limbs, and exercise equipment. The rooms are also spacious for easy maneuvering and include technology to connect with the local health care center.
The Freedom Home
The Freedom Home prototype contains all the amenities, features, and extras included in the Patriot. The major difference is the exterior design.
The Freedom Home features a bright, sunny yellow paint color and a back patio with soaring columns and an arched overhang with skylights.
3 Ways Patriot Homes Help Wounded Warriors
The Wounded Warriors Home Project is an integral piece of life on base at Fort Belvoir. Here are the main ways it gives wounded soldiers a fighting chance.
1. The Homes Serve Soldiers with All Kinds of Disabilities
The homes built as part of the Wounded Warrior Home Project serve a vast array of disabled soldiers who need extra considerations for daily living. The right quality of life can help them continue to serve active duty even with disabilities.
Since they’re built with universal accessibility in mind, the homes can house people with issues as varied as post-traumatic stress, blindness, paralysis, or loss of limbs.
2. Better Housing Makes Soldiers Feel Like People Care
It’s important that the nation’s armed forces are recognized for the job they do. By providing housing specifically designed for those who have suffered in the name of protecting their country, we show them their sacrifices were not made in vain.
3. They Contribute to Thriving Communities
Army bases are communities that underscore the work that the military carries out. When soldiers’ families are safe and taken care of, and when disabled soldiers have a high quality of life, the entire larger unit benefits, too. This means army servicemen and women can do their jobs better, which benefits everyone who relies on them.
The project is a culmination of in-depth research into the needs of wounded soldiers and how they live.
The teams who contributed to the homes sought to create spaces that would allow soldiers and their families to live healthier, more dignified, and positive lives with freedom and safety.