Building Homes for Heroes, a national nonprofit, honored the memory of the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks by gifting its 343rd mortgage-free home. This home, donated by JPMorgan Chase, was presented to the retired Army SPC. Evan Marcy, a Purple Heart recipient and the son of an FDNY firefighter.
Marcy, who lost his left leg in combat in Afghanistan, expressed deep gratitude for being chosen as the recipient of Building Homes for Heroes' 343rd home.
"I feel incredibly honored to be Building Homes for Heroes' 343rd home recipient," said Marcy. "This gift not only recognizes my own service, but also acknowledges the impact my father made. I cannot thank everyone involved enough."
After a parade and ceremony attended by members of FDNY 343 Ride, a group that rode from Connecticut's 9/11 Living Memorial in Westport to East Haven, Marcy received the keys to his new 1,476-square-foot customized home in East Haven. This event was part of an annual cycling event that raises funds for wounded veterans and honors FDNY personnel who perished on 9/11.
Marcy's father, Duane, was among the first responders who participated in the search-and-rescue efforts at Ground Zero for nearly a month. His father's bravery, along with that of other first responders, inspired Marcy to join the Army after high school. He served as a combat military photographer for five years.
During his deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Marcy was injured in a firefight and had to amputate his left leg above the knee. He was medically discharged in 2011 and received prestigious awards for his service, including the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
Building Homes for Heroes was established by Andy Pujol, a New York business executive and former search-and-rescue volunteer, in response to his experiences during 9/11. The organization gifts mortgage-free homes to injured veterans, their families, and first responders.
Andy Pujol expressed pride in gifting Evan Marcy the keys to his well-deserved forever home.
"We're proud to gift Evan Marcy the keys to his well-deserved, forever home," Pujol said. "His courage, virtue and commitment to service, alongside those who chose selflessness on the tragic day, inspire us to continue supporting our veterans and first responders."
East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora welcomed Marcy to the community, acknowledging his courage and unwavering commitment to service as a reflection of East Haven's values. Carfora assured Marcy that East Haven would provide an environment where he could thrive and feel a sense of belonging.
Matt McSpedon, Connecticut Market Leader at JPMorgan Chase, attended the ceremony, representing the company that provided the mortgage-free home for Marcy through its national partnership with Building Homes for Heroes. JPMorgan Chase has donated over 1,080 mortgage-free homes to veterans through its Military Home Awards Program since 2011.
McSpedon stated that the house donated to Marcy is not just a place of shelter and safety but also a reminder of the indelible mark left by true heroism.
Building Homes for Heroes has modified and gifted over 340 homes since 2006, with support from donors such as Advance Auto Parts and Lowe's. These contributions have been instrumental in continuing to provide mortgage-free homes to veterans and first responders. Legrand, a West Hartford appliance, electrical, and electronics manufacturer, donated products for the East Haven home.
JPMorgan Chase's Military & Veterans Affairs has supported military members and veterans for over a decade. The firm has implemented programs and initiatives to promote long-term personal and financial success. Its efforts include: