FRELINGHUYSEN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan has a new place to call home, and it’s mortgage-free thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named after a fallen 9/11 firefighter, honored the memory of fallen Army SPC. Ronald Wildrick on Monday as they welcomed his family into a new mortgage-free home in Frelinghuysen Township.
Army Specialist Ronald H. Wildrick Jr. lost his life on December 11, 2011 when enemy forces attacked his unit an improvised explosive device in the Kunar province of northeastern Afghanistan. Spc. Wildrick, who grew up in Byram Township, was a 2000 graduate of Lenape Valley Regional high School in Stanhope. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 18, 2008 largely in part to provide a better life for his two daughters.
“Like my brother Stephen, in the face of evil, Ronald put his life on the line to save others. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation aims to make sure that the sacrifices of heroes like my brother Stephen and Ronald are never forgotten,“ CEO Frank Siller said. “That is why it brings me such joy to be here today, giving away the keys to a brand new home to Stephanie and her two daughters, Kaylee and Leah.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation wants Army SPC Wildrick’s children to know that their father’s service and sacrifice has not been forgotten. This home will be the first in which his daughters will have their own rooms and space to decorate; a beautiful home to call their own that is dedicated to their father’s memory.
“I remember after getting that devastating knock on the door, I immediately thought how am I going to do this on my own. I was now an only parent responsible for both the emotional and financial well being of our children. The gift of this house has taken an enormous weight off of my shoulders,” Wildrick’s wife, Stephanie, said.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Gold Star Family Home Program honors the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. The Foundation provides mortgage-free homes to surviving families with young children. The Foundation has delivered or is in the planning stage of 30 Gold Star homes.
For more information on the Gold Star Family Home Program, email Info@Tunnel2Towers.org.