SANTA ROSA BEACH — Now-retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Schiefer wasn’t supposed to be alive Wednesday. He was, in fact, supposed to have died more than a decade earlier.
Instead, Wednesday was the day Schiefer accepted the keys to his new Santa Rosa Beach home from the Gary Sinise Foundation, whose R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program provides specially adapted smart homes at no cost to the nation’s most severely wounded heroes.
Sinise, an actor and humanitarian who became interested in veterans’ issues after seeing how the Vietnam War affected the soldiers who fought it, established his foundation in 2011 after having worked individually to address veterans’ issues. Today, the foundation operates a number of programs, in addition to R.I.S.E., to meet needs of veterans, active-duty military personnel and first responders.
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