What started out as just another Monday for Brian Sawyer from Anderson, Indiana turned out to be a day he’d never forget.
Brian was out of town for the entire morning while his wife Christina and oldest daughter Makenna were “working” on a school project–at least that’s what he thought. The fact that she was working all morning was true, but it wasn’t on a school project.
Christina, Makenna and a team of volunteers from Bob’s Discount Furniture, Operation Homefront, and the Indianapolis Colts were busy removing every piece of furniture from their current home and replacing it with brand new furniture.
The volunteers started early in the morning so they could surprise Brian, an Army National Guard veteran, when he returned home this Veterans Day.
The team of volunteers including Colts cheerleaders, “Blue,” and Nyheim Hines were eagerly awaiting his arrival and welcomed him with a big “surprise” when he opened the front door.
While serving in Afghanistan, Brian suffered from a traumatic brain injury and a broken clavicle caused by an IED explosion. Following several extremely difficult years after Brian returned home, the Sawyers applied and were accepted into Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program and recently moved into their new home.
Ahead of the furniture delivery, Brian’s wife, Christina, participated in a shopping trip at my Castleton location, where she selected five sets of bedroom furniture, two sets of furniture for living areas, a new dining room set, and the kitchen. By working closely with my Outreach team, Operation Homefront, and Colts teams, Christina and Makenna helped coordinate an amazing, and much deserved, surprise for Brian and the children.
Darcy Clardy, senior director of Operation Homefront summed up the day by saying, “We are thrilled that Bob’s Discount Furniture and the Indianapolis Colts choose to honor veterans and military families through an impactful partnership with Operation Homefront. Their support drives our ability to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. We thank Bob’s Discount Furniture and the Colts for their commitment to serving America’s military families.”
Preparing for the Big Surprise
The day’s makeover began with the Bob’s team, led by Damon Mogensen, delivering furniture to the family’s home while Brian was out of town visiting family. My Castleton, Indiana store managers, Eric Wilkerson and Monica Payton, who helped Christina pick out the furniture even stopped by to help her prepare her home for the new furniture. That’s going the extra mile, team!
After several hours of unloading and setting up furniture, we were all ready for Brian’s return home. I didn’t want my big face on the side of a semi to ruin the surprise, so I told the drivers to hide the trucks somewhere!
As my delivery team pulled away, Indianapolis Colts’ running back Nyheim Hines, cheerleaders, and team mascot “Blue” showed up and got ready to celebrate with the family.
With the teams assembled by the front door ready to share the amazing surprise, Christina joked about what Brian’s reaction would be: Shock? Happiness? Tears? When we saw his car pull in, we knew we were about to find out; the months of planning this special “thanks” for Brian were about to pay off!
You’re Going to the Colts Game!
After the big reveal of all the new furniture, the Colts had one final surprise for Brian and his family–tickets to the Colts game on Sunday, Nov. 17 against Jacksonville. In addition to the tickets, the family was able to step on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch their hometown Colts warmup. How cool is that?! And each family member received a special Colts fan pack.
Thank You Operation Homefront & Colts
Thank you to Operation Homefront and the Colts for helping us to make this Veterans Day an extra special one for Brian. We were honored to partner with your organizations to help bring the Sawyer family’s dream home to life. Partnerships like yours are what allows my team to continue other charitable efforts through our Bob’s Cares initiatives and tirelessly working to uplift the communities in which we serve.