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Local veteran and family receive new home

John A Pavoncello
York Dispatch
  • Military Warriors Support Foundation and Wells Fargo provide homes for combat veterans.
  • Ian Stauffer and his family have been awarded such a home, in Conewago Twp., for his service.
  • The Stauffer family will receive three years of family and financial mentoring.

For the past five years, Ian Stauffer and his family have lived in a house in Red Lion, described by Stauffer as so small he has to cross his legs to sit on the toilet.

That changed for the family of five Thursday when they were handed the keys to a new Conewago Township home,   donated by the Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) and Wells Fargo bank.

Stauffer, 33, joined the Army in 2008. He  served as a combat engineer in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was injured in three separate explosions. Stauffer received a Purple Heart, Army Commendation medal and other awards for his service.

In a short ceremony in front of his new garage, Stauffer accepted the keys to the home. "Look at the opportunity I just got," he said. "I can't beat that kind of an opportunity, not right now in this country. Now I just have to move in, and everything will be great."

After hanging the American flag outside the front door, the Stauffer family walked in to tour the new home. Daughter Isabella, 11, loved the fireplace in the den, and son Anthony Verdinelli, 15, had to check out the refrigerator.

First floor inspected, the family moved upstairs, where the children picked out their bedrooms and Stauffer saw the master bathroom for the first time — one complete with a tub and plenty of room to sit on the toilet.

Stauffer, a self-described "huge Star Wars fan," loved the shiny, aluminum foil-like insulation on the basement walls saying, "it screams space ship," and he excitedly started doing pull-ups from the home's main support beam.

One of his first projects at the house will be gardening.

"It's a combination for me of meditation and also the commodity you get out of it," Stauffer said.

The Military Warriors Support Foundation  is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission, it states, it is to provide support for our nation’s wounded heroes as they transition out of the military and into their new civilian life.

Through their Homes4WoundedHeroes Program, the organization donates 100 percent mortgage-free homes to combat wounded heroes who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to the home, the Stauffer family will receive three years of family and financial mentoring.