Actor Gary Sinise’s foundation, Building for America’s Bravest, is helping to rethink design in order to accomodate veterans who return from war with serious injuries. As more veterans returned from home with injuries, designers realized that they needed to begin building a new kind of home.
These homes make it possible for veterans to live more independently than ever before, often custom designing homes based on the owner’s needs. Inspired by the lack of attention paid to Vietnam veterans, designers work hard to create a home that will serve the veteran now, as well as 10, 20, or 30 years into the future. A veteran in a wheelchair needs a floor other than carpet or may need the stove and counter to be closer to the ground. Mirrors in these homes tilt down, so veterans in wheelchairs can see themselves. Many of the homes functions are controlled by an iPad, for convenience. Yet the homes also allow space for growth and change, as it is impossible to foresee challenges that veterans may face well after they have returned and moved.