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Fairway Independent Mortgage Helps Fund Wounded Vet's Home

Jul 27, 2012

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has teamed up with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to give a “mortgage free” house to an Afghanistan war veteran and Purple Heart recipient this week in Dallas. Fairview, Texas native and U.S. Army veteran Jeremy Smith, 22, and his fiancée accepted the keys to a previously distressed three-bedroom Fort Worth home during the Boot Campaign’s "Boot Scoot'n Deck Party,” a special event held in special honor of the U.S. military and hosted by Southwest Airlines. Fairway has been an avid supporter of the Boot Campaign for more than a year and a half. Several Fairway employees pledged over $20,000 in donations per month for the next 12 months in order to give away a mortgage free home every month to a wounded veteran. The money is being used by the Military Warriors Support Foundation to cover the costs of repairing, renovating and retrofitting homes, along with the first year of property taxes and three years of financial counseling. Motivated by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Smith joined the U.S. Army in 2007 at age 17 and received specialized scout reconnaissance training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). While on patrol on May 31st of that year, Smith’s group was ambushed. The vehicle containing Smith was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED). Smith, who continues to undergo rehabilitation for his injuries, plans to enroll in school in the fall. "Like so many who have served, Jeremy Smith put everything on the line to protect the freedoms I and so many of us enjoy today,” said Steve Jacobson, chief executive officer of Fairway. “Fairway is a big supporter of our country’s troops, and that includes both active duty service persons as well as retired veterans who have been wounded while serving our country. When we heard Jeremy's story, we were deeply impressed with his sacrifice and the strength of character he demonstrated throughout his military service and to this very day. Helping a wounded warrior like Jeremy achieve the American dream of home ownership seems like the least we can do, but we feel it’s a start.” Founded in Tyler, Texas, the Boot Campaign supports a number of national charities aimed at improving the lives of American veterans. Fairway’s involvement with the Boot Campaign began with branch manager Louise Thaxton, who operates offices near two military bases in Louisiana—the Army base at Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. Thaxton and her team have specialized in working with military clients for several years and VA loans account for over half of her individual production. She became involved with the Boot Campaign as a way to give back way to the men and women of the U.S. military, both active duty and veterans. She pledged to purchase a pair of boots through the Boot Campaign for every day of the year, 365 pairs in 2011. When the mission of the Boot Campaign was shared with the company, other Fairway branches began to join in and hundreds more “got their boots on,” Jacobson said. “Fairway will continue to work with the Boot Campaign to put wounded warriors into mortgage free homes,” Jacobson said. “Our deepest thanks belongs to Louise for getting things started, as well as the support of Dawn Pemberton, who manages a North Dallas branch for Fairway, and Meghan McDermott, our point person and advocate at the Boot Campaign. Without them, none of this would be happening.”
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