Today, U.S. Bank in partnership with Freedom Alliance kicked off Veteran’s Day weekend by donating a home to a deserving injured military veteran in Minnetonka, Minn.
MINNETONKA, Minn. – Nov. 8, 2013 – Today, U.S. Bank in partnership with Freedom Alliance kicked off Veteran’s Day weekend by donating a home to a deserving injured military veteran in Minnetonka, Minn. Employees from U.S. Bank and Freedom Alliance presented keys to Justin Utecht earlier today. The new home is located on Carlysle Place in Minnetonka.
Utecht, a former Combat Military Police, served in the United States Army from 2005 to 2011. He served in Baghdad and in Muqdadiyah, Iraq where he guarded high-value inmates, trained Iraqi police and S.W.A.T. teams and served in direct combat roles during his deployments. Utecht was injured during combat operations.
A Minnesota native, Utecht enjoys spending his down time with his 8-year-old daughter and his two dogs, Charlie and Rosco. When asked why he submitted his application for this new home, he said, “Stability is key to me and having space of my own would do me a lot of good.” Utecht went on to say, “I don’t like switching places and the townhouse looks like the perfect size for me, my ‘boys’ and now my daughter will have her own room.”
Upon receiving the keys to his new home, Utecht said, “It’s overwhelming, but receiving this home today is much bigger than just helping me, this program helps other veterans.” He plans on becoming an entrepreneur and will be attending the Minnesota School of Business in January 2014.
The home donation stemmed from a partnership between U.S. Bank, Freedom Alliance and Five Brothers, a real estate management company that helped renovate the home. Several U.S. Bank officials as well as representatives from Freedom Alliance and Five Brothers were present to welcome Utecht to his new home including:
- Dick Payne, vice chairman of Wholesale Banking for U. S. Bank,
- Phil Trier, Twin Cities market president, U.S. Bank
- Christine Hobrough, Twin Cities metro region manager, U.S. Bank
- Thomas Kilgannon, president of Freedom Alliance, and
- Joe Badalamenti, chief executive officer of Five
“U.S. Bank is extremely proud to partner with Freedom Alliance to present this Minnetonka home to Justin Utecht, a veteran who served our country,” said Payne, who leads the U.S. Bank’s Wholesale Banking operations and is a veteran himself. “U.S. Bank employs more than 2,000 current and former members of the
U.S. military, and has been recognized nationally as a top employer for veterans. This is our fourth military home donation this year, and we hope to continue to offer this opportunity to many more returning heroes in the future.”
In addition to partnering with military service organizations such as Freedom Alliance, U.S. Bank supports Guard and Reserve employees through its Proud to Serve program, a company-wide initiative focused on hiring and supporting service members and their families. U.S. Bank hired more than 1,100 veterans between 2012 and 2013. U.S. Bank also received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees, including generous paid time off policies for veterans and military family members. U.S. Bank currently employs more than 2,000 current and former members of the
Utecht’s home was donated through a partnership with Freedom Alliance and its Heroes to Homeowners program. “We know the importance of ensuring stability in the lives of our injured service members,” said Kilgannon. “The Heroes to Homeowners Project is a great program and it benefits those who need it most, our military members and their families who are trying to ease their way back into civilian life.”
About Freedom Alliance
Freedom Alliance is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a public charity organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. The mission of Freedom Alliance is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense. Visit www.FreedomAlliance.org.
About Five Brothers
Founded in 1967, Five Brothers provides innovative, regulatory-compliant default management solutions that save time, eliminate errors and increase efficiency for commercial and residential mortgage servicers nationwide. Proven on-the-ground field services, experience-based partnering, advanced technology and knowledgeable customer and field service professionals, empower our clients to maximize asset preservation while reducing costs, streamlining operations and optimizing borrower relationships.
About U.S. Bank
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $361 billion in assets as of September 30, 2013, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,088 banking offices in 25 states and 4,937 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.
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Kendra Cummings Vistra Communications, http://www.consultvistra.com 813.961-4700
Donnie Gallagher Vistra Communications, http://consultvistra.com 813.961.4700