Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation will train approximately 1,300 real estate agents and mortgage professionals at Boot Camp training events this week in Savage, Md.; Fairfax, Va.; Springfield, Va. and Virginia Beach, Va. As the nation struggles to provide housing opportunities for veterans, the mortgage company will conduct Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS) training for real estate agents, which also earns each agent three hours of continuing education. Veterans face unique challenges when seeking to buy a home and Fairway’s training program is designed to equip real estate agents with the special skills and knowledge to help meet active military and Veterans’ specific needs. In addition to the training, Fairway has joined forces with Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF), a non-profit organization supporting combat wounded veterans, by sponsoring three wounded military veterans in their three-year Family and Financial Mentorship, through MWSF’s Homes4WoundedHeroes Program. In Savage, Md., Retired Army Sergeant Darius L. Johnson will be honored for his service to our country. Darius joined the U.S. Army in 1998, and received numerous awards and commendations, including a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Army Commendation Medals and four Army Achievement Medals. Sergeant Johnson served in Afghanistan in March 2011 and was wounded in action. Marine Corps Sergeant Thomas Strickland will be honored in both Fairfax and Springfield, Va. Strickland has been active in the U.S. Marine Corps since 2006. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan and received multiple awards and commendations, including the Navy Achievement Medal with Valor and awards for Combat Action, Good Conduct and Humanitarian aid. Army Sergeant David F. Matakaiongo served in Afghanistan in 2011 and received multiple awards and commendations, including the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. In Afghanistan, Matakaiongo was injured protecting a fellow soldier during a shooting ambush. “Fairway is thankful to these three American heroes, Sergeants Johnson, Strickland and Matakaiongo, and all military veterans who have served our country,” said Louise Thaxton, director of Fairway's American Warrior Initiative and Military Mortgage Specialist Division. Active duty and veteran service members often face an uphill battle when trying to buy a home, noted Fairway CEO Steve Jacobson. Finding employment can be a challenge, and research shows that veterans are more likely than the general population to face poverty and homelessness. “The objective of Fairway’s CMRS certification program is to train and equip real estate agents to handle with care the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients,” Jacobson said. Since launching its Boot Camp training two years ago, Fairway has trained almost 3,000 mortgage and real estate professionals while sponsoring 23 mortgage-free homes to deserving military veterans. Joining Fairway for these events is Sean Parnell, author of the NY Times best-selling book Outlaw Platoon, which details Parnell’s experiences serving the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Parnell, a retired Army Ranger and Purple Heart recipient, is an advocate for Fairway’s programs and plays an integral role in the Boot Camps and home-giveaway presentations. By the end of 2014, Fairway will have trained more than 4,000 real estate agents, and sponsored 28 heroes and their families.