US Marines Sgt. Thomas J. Schreiber Jr. of East Rockaway, was recently introduced as one of six heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars chosen to buy deeply discounted, newly constructed homes by Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp. (LIHBCDC).
“It’s not easy finding a home on Long Island,” said Schreiber, 32, who currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment in his native East Rockaway with his wife, Erika and their son. “Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp. has helped us to overcome one of the biggest hurdles we had to tackle. Words cannot express my gratitude.”
Schreiber enlisted in 2006 at the age of 25 after working in his family’s sprinkler business, served 14 months in Iraq in communications. Injuries prevented him from re-enlisting and he is considered 30 percent disabled.
Discharged in 2010, he returned briefly to his family’s business and studied for an associate’s degree in criminal justice at Nassau Community College. He is now a federal corrections officer at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
By the end of this year, Schreiber and five other veterans will move into new three-bedroom homes in a subdivision called “Veterans Way” now under construction in Islandia. They will pay just $199,000 for their homes, which are on a cul-de-sac just off Motor Parkway.
The six were introduced with their families at a ceremony on Sept. 24 at the 3.5-acre subdivision. The six veterans, whose lives have been an uphill battle since their return from the battlefields, were chosen from among 130 applicants by a panel of Veterans of Foreign War commanders.
“We are pleased to introduce these heroes who with their families soon will have beautiful homes to call their own,” said Edgar Goodale, chairman of LIHBCDC. “Without these homes, these veterans might have been forced to move off Long Island and away from their families."
The charity, which began its project, "Building New Homes for Returning Veterans" in 2009, previously constructed two low-cost homes for veterans on Long Island, in Lake Ronkonkoma and Sound Beach. More are planned.
LIHBCDC is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charitable arm of the Long Island Builders Institute (LIBI). Its “Building New Homes for Returning Veterans” program is made possible through the joint efforts of Suffolk County, private donors, local municipalities and members of LIBI. For more information visit www.lihbc.org