Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has joined forces with the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization supporting returning American military troops, and the Military Warriors Support Foundation to donate a “mortgage free” house to a military war veteran and Purple Heart recipient. On Aug. 26, Juan Castañeda Jr., an Iraq War veteran, received the keys to his new home during the 2nd Annual Boot Ride and Rally in Hollywood, Calif. Fairway representatives joined the Boot Campaign’s “Boot Girls” and the stars of the hit FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” in Hollywood, where several hundred bikers “got their boots on” and coasted down the Sunset Strip to raise funds for the Boot Campaign’s partner charities. The Boot Ride culminated at a rally at The Happy Ending Bar and Restaurant with a live performance by Blackberry Smoke and red carpet appearances by Sons of Anarchy cast members and other celebrities.
The most memorable part of the event was when Castañeda was handed the keys to a mortgage-free, tax-free home. Castañeda, the son of a Vietnam War veteran, joined the Army in 2005 and was stationed to the 82nd Airborne Field Artillery Regiment at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. He served in Iraq and was injured on Aug. 31, 2006 in an ambush near Ad Dwar. Castañeda suffered a fully collapsed left eardrum and other head injuries and underwent four major surgeries. He received the Purple Heart along with other medals and honors, and hopes to finish school and raise a family. Castaneda is the proud parent of a two-year-old daughter. “I want to thank Fairway,” Castañeda said. “This new home means the world to me and my family.”
“Juan Castañeda has made enormous sacrifices for our country, as have so many others before him,” said Steve Jacobson, chief executive officer of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. “Juan’s strength and perseverance in the face of his challenges are truly remarkable. It is stories like his that have inspired Fairway to help American veterans fulfill their dreams of home ownership. Juan’s new home is a reflection of the admiration, gratitude and respect we have for all wounded warriors.”
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 additional mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans. 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.
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. For many years, Thaxton and her team have focused on providing mortgage loans to military personnel.
“At Fairway, we’re dedicated to supporting all American troops, both active military and veterans,” says Thaxton, who presented the keys to Castañeda's new home at the Boot Ride in Rally. “Our deepest thanks go to Juan as well as the Boot Campaign for giving us the opportunity to give back and for putting on such an incredible event.”