Tunnel to Towers Delivers 20 Mortgage Free Homes in Honor of America’s Heroes for Independence Day

Staten Island, NY, July 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In observance of Independence Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgages on the homes of 19 fallen first responders and handed over the keys to a brand new mortgage-free smart home to U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Austin Reese. 

The 20 homes are located in 15 states:

  • Special Agent Daniel Alfin, FBI - Florida
  • Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger, FBI - Florida
  • Master Police Officer Jesse Madsen, Tampa Police Department - Florida
  • Deputy Sheriff Michael Magli, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office - Florida
  • Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office - California
  • Police Officer Vu Nguyen, Cleveland Division of Police - Ohio
  • Police Officer Craig Comstock, Bellefontaine Police Department - Ohio
  • Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers, U.S. Marshals Service - Georgia
  • Corporal Stephen Ballard, Delaware State Police Department - Delaware
  • Firefighter James Woods, Jersey City Fire Department - New Jersey
  • Trooper Joseph Gallagher, New York State Police - New York
  • Patrolman Troy Jacobson, Momence Police Department - Illinois
  • Fire Chief Darin Sabine, Newington Fire Department - New Hampshire
  • Trooper II Nathan-Michael Smith, Virginia State Police - Virginia
  • Corporal Shane Totty, Baton Rouge Police Department - Louisiana
  • Detective Curt Holland, Commerce City Police Department - Colorado
  • Detective James Kirk, Stanton Police Department - Kentucky
  • Police Officer Kejuane Bates, Vidalia Police Department - Arkansas
  • Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore, Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office - Montana
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer Austin Reese, U.S. Navy - Montana

FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin and FBI Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger were killed in the line of duty on February 2, 2021, while serving a federal search warrant in a crimes against children investigation.

“Having my home paid off is a big relief. It will allow me some sense of security that we will be able to stay in the neighborhood and community that has provided us so much support, especially since it is the neighborhood Daniel and I picked together,” said Special Agent Alfin’s widow. 

For Special Agent Schwartzenberger’s husband, the Foundation's support has allowed him to focus on their children. “It is like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders knowing that I can focus on taking care of our boys and having a home that is fully ours. To have our mortgage paid off on Independence Day is truly amazing as we can celebrate our beautiful country knowing that there is so much kindness out there supporting first responders and their families.” 

Tampa Police Master Police Officer Jesse Madsen was killed on March 9, 2021, when he intentionally drove into the path of the wrong-way driver and laid down his life to save the lives of others. 

He left behind his wife Danyelle, who is also a police officer, and their three children. 

After hearing the news about my husband, everything was upside down and surreal. In the days that followed, one of my worries was having to move from the house that our family made our home. How do I return to my job as a police officer to pay a mortgage with my kids begging me not to return for fear of losing another parent? Your foundation has restored a huge part of my sense of security and I can never thank you all enough,” said Danyelle Madsen. 

Broadwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Moore was shot and killed while involved in a high-speed pursuit. He left behind his wife, Jodi, twin sons and a daughter. 

Jodi said Tunnel to Towers’ support would have meant so much to her husband. “Providing a roof over a family’s head is a huge gift and blessing. This is the first time in a long time that I have felt that I might survive this. I am fighting hard to make Mason proud with my choices and take care of our kids. Thank you for helping me with that."

The Tunnel to Towers Fallen First Responder Home Program pays off the mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty with young children. 

“This Independence Day, Tunnel to Towers is delivering financial independence to the families of fallen first responders by paying off the mortgages on the homes of these heroes. We cannot replace the loss of a husband and father but we can make sure these families can stay in the place they called home,” said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller.

The Tunnel to Towers Smart Home Program custom builds specially adapted mortgage-free smart homes that help our most catastrophically injured veterans reclaim their day-to-day independence.

On July 1, in Whitefish, Montana, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Austin Reese and his family was welcomed into his brand new mortgage-free smart home

SCPO Reese, a Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician served 13 years with the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and deployed to Iraq three times. 

In September 2013, during a routine jump at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, SCPO Reece made a miscalculation of his altitude and hit the ground at 65 miles per hour. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. SCPO Reese, his wife, Charity, and their daughters were overwhelmed when they saw their new smart home for the first time.

This house is going to allow me to regain a lot of my independence, allow me to help be a part of my family again, help with cooking and the cleaning, and just normal daily life and daily chores. I just cannot thank everybody enough for this gift to my family and myself,” said SCPO Reese.

This year is the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s 20th Anniversary, and to mark 20 years of DOING GOOD the Foundation has promised to deliver 200 mortgage payoffs or  mortgage-free homes across the country by the end of the year.

For more information on Tunnel to Towers’ mission to support America’s veterans, fallen first responders and Gold Star families, please go to T2T.org and consider donating just $11 per month.

For more information about Tunnel to Towers’ events to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks visit T2T.org/20-Anniversary/.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.

Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @Tunnel2Towers.



Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgage on the home of  Broadwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Moore U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Austin Reese outside of his brand new mortgage-free smart home

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