RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The family of Virginia State Police special agent Michael Walter will get to come home every night to a house that’s paid in full thanks to the generosity of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Walter was killed in the line of duty in May 2017 while investigating a suspicious vehicle in Richmond’s Mosby Court neighborhood. He was an 18-year veteran of the VSP, a former Marine, and was remembered as a beloved husband, father, mentor, coach and friend.
The foundation paid off the mortgage on Walter’s home as part of its 2020 Season of Hope, which will pay off 36 homes in 36 days from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve.
“I can not begin to say how grateful we are for our home to be paid off. Paying off our home is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Jamie Walter, Michael’s widow. “It gives us a sense of safety and security. A feeling we haven’t had in three and a half years. We have a forever home, we are beyond blessed.”
The Tunnel to Towers Fallen First Responder Home Program was created in 2015 and pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty who leave behind young children. At the time of his death, Walter’s three children were ages 14, 9 and 6. The Foundation’s goal is to ensure stability and security to families facing sudden tragic loss.
“This family was forever changed the day Special Agent Walter didn’t come home. Time has passed – but that loss – doesn’t go away,” said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO Frank Siller. “We are proud to honor this hero who served his country and his community for decades. We want his family to know we haven’t forgotten that sacrifice, and now their home will stand as a tribute to his memory.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s mission is to honor the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. By the end of 2020, Tunnel to Towers will have delivered 250 mortgage-free homes across the United States.
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