Near half-million dollar home to be donated to war veteran and wife

Some area contractors are helping a local builder make a dream come true for a former U.S. Marine sergeant and his wife.

Construction is well underway on a new home in Butler Twp. that will be donated to Daniel and Theresa Erlandson.

The finished home will be worth an estimated $400,000, with all the materials and labor provided without charge.

Fifteen workers from the Monroe-based Mid-Miami Roofing took advantage of the sunny weather on Monday to install the roof.

Credit: DeAngelo Byrd/Staff

Credit: DeAngelo Byrd/Staff

The home will be a duplex, enabling the Erlandsons to rent out half of it to help pay bills, according to the spearhead behind the project, American Trademark Construction CEO Steve Risner.

Risner said the Erlandsons story touched his heart and those of all the vendors who have rallied to make the project a reality.

Daniel Erlandson, a Purple Heart recipient, served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, the last in 2013 when a truck he was riding in ran over an IED, causing a traumatic brain injury.

Three days after the IED attack, Daniel led his unit back into the same danger zone where they were ambushed and he was wounded during the firefight, according to a biography published for the 2016 Team Fastrax Warrior Weekend to Remember.

“I will never regret what I did to serve my country, but as much as I’m proud of what I did, it unfortunately took a toll that the loved ones around me have to live with," Daniel told the event organizers last year.

Daniel's wife Theresa has had her own hardships. According to a gofundme page to defray medical costs, Theresa is lined up to receive a kidney transplant. It's needed to replace the kidney she received from her father when she was 10 years old.

Neither will be able to work while Theresa recovers.

Enter Steve Risner. Risner contacted Texas-based Operation Finally Home to get the project going. He asked the veteran nonprofit organization to set aside his deposit of $250,000. The final cost will be closer to $300,000, but Risner said it's all worth it.

"[Daniel] was so dedicated to his troops ... His wife has had two kidney transplants. We're just trying to get them back on their feet," Risner said.

The project is slated to be finished in May, weather permitting.

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