Natural Stone Institute Completes Two Homes with Gary Sinise Foundation


Natural Stone Institute
(440) 250-9222



Oberlin, OH, October 17, 2023 —The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for two homes with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100% mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.

Natural stone and fabrication services for U.S. Army Sergeant Shane Parsons were provided by Mont Surfaces and Cutting Edge Countertops.

Shane enlisted in the Army after graduating high school and was deployed to Iraq as part of the Bravo 3rd Company 67th Regiment. Being an only child, Shane felt an instant connection with the brotherhood of military life and would often volunteer to go out on a mission and be the one up front in case there was an attack.

On September 30, 2006, Shane was off duty but volunteered to go out in place of one of his friends. As the lead driver, he drove over an improvised explosive device, or IED, that was designed to cut through metal and protective gear. The explosion caused him to lose both legs above the knee. As he was air lifted out, he went into cardiac arrest three separate times, resulting in a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to read, write, or manage basic daily living skills such as bathing, eating, and dressing.

Through countless surgeries and hours of therapies, Shane began to regain some of his ability to move, read, speak, and care for himself. Still, his brain injury has permanent longer-term impact, including memory loss and moments of severe depression and post-traumatic stress. “When I hear I’ll never walk again or someone says I’m incompetent, it rocks me to my core.” By coming together with fellow wounded veterans, Shane has developed new interests, like playing basketball and joining a veteran sled hockey team. He even met his wife, Jen, and they married in 2016 and soon welcomed a son.

Shane looks forward to the accessibility a Gary Sinise Foundation specially adapted, smart-technology home will bring him, so he can participate more fully in family life. He also hopes to find a part-time job that will occupy some of his time and help coach high school football.

Natural stone and fabrication services for U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ian Prescott were provided by Triton Stone Group and Artistic Stone Works.

Born in 1982, Ian grew up in Western Washington with his parents and two siblings. Ian’s family moved to Oklahoma during his teenage years, where he later attended Oklahoma State. However, it was not until after Ian received his degree in history that he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army to support his growing family. In 2006, he began basic training at Fort Benning and later was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. Ian deployed ten times to Afghanistan, Iraq, Columbia, and Puerto Rico during his years of service, receiving many accolades, including four Bronze Stars and one Purple Heart.

On December 4, 2018, while on patrol with his team and Afghan counterparts, Ian was shot by enemy forces. Suffering from heavy internal bleeding, Ian was quickly evacuated to a nearby operating base. Due to his severe injuries, doctors surgically removed Ian’s left kidney, spleen, and portions of his pancreas. Ian also suffered a damaged left lung, pancreas, diaphragm, and intestines. In addition, his L1 and L2 vertebras were shattered, and with the damage to his spinal cord, he was paralyzed from the waist down. Following his initial surgeries, Ian returned to the US and spent the remainder of his recovery at Brook Army Medical Center and then at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. With the support of his family, doctors, physical therapists, and various organizations, Ian recovered and returned to his home within months.

Ian and his family reside in Florida. He hopes to one day help injured veterans and share his point of view with them as they go through their processes. As for now, Ian is getting back to doing outdoor activities and intends to work toward his scuba license in the future. 

Natural Stone Institute members have now contributed to 51 completed homes through this initiative. Companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to email rise@naturalstoneinstitute.org. To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, products, and services to this cause, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE


About the Natural Stone Institute
The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org.



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