It has been a long road home for United States Marine Corporal Brian Aft, who in April, 2011, lost both legs to an enemy improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol in Afghanistan. Brian, along with his bomb dog “Buckshot”, survived the horrifying ordeal and now live together as retired veterans of the United States Marine Corps.

On September 5, 2014, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, along with an outpouring of McKinney citizens, welcomed Brian home to McKinney at the ground-breaking dedication of his new home that is being built for him by Smiles Charity.

Smiles Charity, headed by local Orthodontist, Dr. Jennifer Buchannan, has supported our wounded veterans of the War on Terror for a number of years by raising money through community fund-raising benefit concerts. In the past, Smiles Charity has partnered with other sponsoring organizations to build homes, but in Brian’s case Smiles Charity is sponsoring the home-building effort through the generosity of businesses and the citizens of McKinney and North Texas.

In addition to numerous sponsors and an outpouring of citizens attending this event, American Legion Department of Texas Vice Commander Fred Rogers and Peter J Courcy Post 178 Adjutant said, “Smiles Charity is a great example of a well-organized grassroots organization that works together as a team whose efforts make a significant difference in our world. Today is a great reminder of our responsibility as citizens to help care for our military forces that have given so much to protect our freedoms.”

Accompanying Fred Rogers was Jim Meiseman, commander of local “Bill Bryan” Post 110 from McKinney. With the ground breaking complete and the foundation poured, all things are on track to have Brian and Buckshot move into their new home before the end of the year. Welcome home, Brian, welcome home. Brian is a member of the new Frisco American Legion Post 178.

Left to right, Local American Legion “Bill Bryan” Post Commander Jim Meiseman, Brian Aft home recipient, and American Legion Department of Texas Vice Commander and Peter J Courcy Post 178 Adjutant Fred Rogers, welcome Brian Aft home at the ground breaking ceremony for his new home in McKinney, Texas.

American Legion Peter J Courcy Post 178 is a 501(c)19 nonprofit charitable organization. For information on membership, community programs or to donate contact Phyllis Sutton, Public Relations Chairperson (972) 567-8951 or email