Nine local Gold Star families are receiving an incredible gift on this Veterans Day. Tunnel to Towers Foundation has announced it will pay off the mortgages on the homes of 35 Gold Star families across the country, including nine in Hampton Roads.

Gold star families are immediate family members of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict. Tunnel to Towers is an organization that helps families of fallen first responders and severely injured service members as well as Gold Star families by paying off their mortgage or providing smart homes to accommodate injuries. By the end of the year, Tunnel to Towers will have delivered 450 homes across its programs.

Seven of the homes belong to the families of:

  • U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Anthony Quintana (Chesapeake, VA)
  • U.S. Navy EODCS Scott Cooper Dayton (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer/SEAL Kevin Arthur Houston (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer/SEAL Louis James Langlais (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer/ SEAL Nicholas Heath Null (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff (Virginia Beach, VA)

“This Veterans Day, we’re honoring the inspiring Americans who sprang into action to take the fight to our enemies and protect our homeland in the wake of September 11th. We’re eternally grateful to the fallen heroes of the Global War on Terror and their families who live every day with the reminder of the sacrifice of their loved one. As a small thank you to the Quintana, Dayton, Houston, Langlais, Null, Owens and Ratzlaff families, we’re paying off their mortgages, ensuring they’ll always have a place to call home,” said Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller.

The announcement was made during the Foundation’s Veterans Day name-reading ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. this morning. The event is honoring the 7,070 military personnel who died in America’s military response to September 11, 2001.

The Foundation hosted a private ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 392 in Virginia Beach, VA, where families were presented with documents confirming the mortgage on their homes had been fulfilled. The families of Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Dayton, Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Houston, Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens, and Navy Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Null attended.

About Tunnel to Towers Foundation
On September 11, 2001, FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller laid down his life to save others when America was attacked. For 20 years, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has honored Stephen’s legacy by supporting the heroes who continue to risk life and limb in the line of duty. Learn more at

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