The Tunnel to Towers Foundation aims to honor first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in the line of duty for their communities. Since it was founded in 2001, the foundation has developed programs to honor fallen heroes. This year they delivered 135 mortgage-free homes across the country. The Foundation will have paid off or dedicated 65 mortgage-free homes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve as part of this year’s Season of Hope-bringing the total to 200.
Based in Staten Island, Tunnel to Towers was founded in December 2001 by Frank Siller to honor his younger brother Stephen, who died trying to save others on 9/11 even after he had already gone home from his shift as a firefighter in Brooklyn. On December 7th, the 80th commemoration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they announced the latest round of heroes they are honoring.
Department of Justice Marshals Service Senior Inspector Jared Keyworth – U.S. Army Veteran – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Vice Commander Montana Search and Rescue Tyler Weir – Master Sergeant Montana Air National Guard – Great Falls, Montana
Police Corporal James Chapman – U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – Johnston, South Carolina
Virginia State Police Trooper II Chad Dermyer – U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – Richmond, Virginia
Sergeant Joseph Deccio – U.S. Army National Guard E5 – Yakima, Washington
The five mortgage pay-offs are part of the Tunnel to Towers’ Season of Hope, which celebrates the holiday season by delivering mortgage-free homes or mortgage payoffs to families of fallen first responders, Gold Star families, and catastrophically injured veterans around the country.
Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller said “These selfless heroes answered the call to serve their country and their community. I call them superheroes, brave men and women who stepped up to keep us safe at home and abroad. I am honored to support the families who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms and safety we all enjoy.”
Through donations and fundraising, they have also helped families of fallen heroes like Chris Hixon and Aaron Feis, the two coaches who lost their lives confronting the gunmen at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Long after names stop being mentioned in the news, the foundation continues to help the families of fallen heroes nationwide. A few of the families they’ve helped include DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark, killed in a crash on June 3, 2020; Toledo Ohio Police Officer Anthony Dia, 26, killed in the line of duty on July 4, 2020; Lieutenant Bradford “Brad” Clark, killed in a crash on October 11, 2018 and Raleigh Fire Department Brent Upton, who lost his life in the line of duty on March 17, 2021.