Tunnel to Towers Foundation to Gift Smart Home to Mississippi Army National Guard Sergeant

Published 10:38 am Monday, June 24, 2024

This Independence Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation will honor the holiday by restoring some of the independence lost on the battlefield for Mississippi Army National Guard Sergeant James “Carl” Sampson.

On June 26, at 10:00 a.m., the Tunnel to Towers Foundation will unveil the Sampson family’s new mortgage-free smart home in Picayune. SGT Sampson, inspired by his grandfather, who served in the Marines, enlisted after graduating high school in 1987. He served for four years before transitioning to the Mississippi Army National Guard.

In 2003, while working as a NASA crane operator, SGT Sampson re-enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard at the encouragement of his cousin, Rodney. He deployed to Iraq with the 890th Engineering Battalion as part of America’s response to the 9/11 attacks. On September 12, 2003, SGT Sampson’s truck was struck by a buried missile triggered by a cell phone, resulting in the loss of his left eye, a traumatic head injury, and multiple broken bones.

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As part of his recovery, SGT Sampson underwent left craniofacial reconstruction and continues to manage seizures and other medical complications. He lives with his wife Kelly and son Brody, who serve as his caregivers. He looks forward to his new smart home, which will provide him with “financial freedom and peace of mind” for the future.

The unveiling event on June 26 will take place at 5000 Holly Hill Drive, Picayune, MS 39466. Attendees include United States Army Sergeant James “Carl” Sampson, FDNY Battalion Chief (ret.) and Tunnel to Towers Board Member John Carroll, Mayor of Picayune Jim Luke, and local VIPs, sponsors, and partners.

The Tunnel to Towers Smart Home Program builds specially adapted smart homes to help severely injured veterans, and first responders live more independently. SGT Sampson’s home is designed to be completely accessible, featuring zero thresholds, motorized doors, and keyless entry to facilitate movement in and out of the house. The home’s lights, temperature, security, and sound system can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app or through touch screens throughout the house.