Nortek, Gary Sinise Foundation honor wounded hero

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

CARLSBAD, Calif.—When U.S. Army Maj. (Ret.) Jeremy Haynes left his home in Albany, Ga. to fulfill his deployment in Afghanistan, he left behind two children and his wife, Chelsea, who was pregnant at the time. He had no idea that the next time he saw his wife she would be by his side at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was being treated for debilitating wounds received in combat. 

On a mission in Kabul on August 5, 2014, an Afghan military soldier shot Haynes four times, including once in the back. The shot to his spine severed Jeremy’s vena cava and 80 percent of the nerves in his lower extremities, paralyzing both of his legs. While Haynes faced a long and painful recovery, he was determined to overcome his injuries.

Through Chelsea’s inspiration to heal and constant daily effort, Haynes can stand and walk for short periods with adaptive equipment. Despite this incredible progress, Haynes home impeded his ability to perform everyday tasks. That’s when the Gary Sinise Foundation, supported by Nortek Security & Control (NSC), Lutron, Yale Locks and a local home automation integrator, along with numerous other partners, donors, volunteers and contractors sprung into action.

“Things that other people could do in 10 minutes, like take a bath, used to take me upwards of an hour,” Haynes said in the announcement. “Now thanks to the Gary Sinise Foundation and our new adaptive home, I can live a normal life.” 

NSC contributed the ELAN smart home control system and the components needed to provide distributed audio using SpeakerCraft speakers; distributed video; IP surveillance camera protection; complete 2GIG home security system; power conditioning and protection; and thermostats and audio speakers. Lutron provided Lutron RadioRA2 lighting control and QS Triathlon motorized window shades at a discount. Yale contributed VeraEdge lock mechanisms for integration with the ELAN control system.

“There’s a big difference between a 24-inch door and a 36-inch door,” Haynes said. “Now I can maneuver my wheelchair into my children’s bedroom to tuck them in and kiss them good night. I am so eternally grateful.” 

Richard Pugnier, vice president of marketing at NSC, added: “We are proud to team up with the Gary Sinise Foundation to provide our wounded heroes with the resources they need to restore their independence and mobility. Honoring our nation’s heroes is one of the most rewarding things we do.” 

Jon Linville, owner of electronics integration firm, Innovative Audio and Video in Arlington, Va., who designed and installed the home’s digital infrastructure donated his time so that the Haynes family would have powerfully simple technologies to enhance comfort, security and control over house-wide systems.

“I’m very proud to work with the Gary Sinise Foundation and NSC on these projects,” Linville said. “It’s such an amazing program for families that have given so much for our country, and I feel it’s the least I can do to help out.”