Remembering Dale Beatty: One Year Gone… words by Tim Parker/Purple Heart Homes
Dale Beatty was an NC National Guard soldier deployed to Iraq in 2004. He and his battle buddy John Gallina hit two anti-tank mines in the Hummer John was driving.
Dale sustained injuries resulting in the amputation of both his legs. John received a traumatic brain injury, spinal damage and other injuries during the explosion. Upon return to Statesville, N.C. both John and Dale tried to resume their normal lives. John went back to his civilian job and was once again building houses. Dale learned to adapt to life as a double amputee. It was a struggle for them and their families.
The people of Statesville joined with the Iredell County NAHB and began to build Dale and his family a handicap accessible house on family land. John and Dale both observed WW II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans helping build the Beatty’s new house. They began to ask themselves who was taking care of these older Veterans. That’s where Purple Heart Homes began.
In 2008 Dale and John co-founded Purple Heart Homes. In 2010 they did their first project for a Veteran. Fast forward to 2019, Purple Heart Homes just completed it’s the 500th project and looks to do well over 100 in 2019. Purple Heart Homes has done work in 39 states and has 11 chapters in 8 states.
Dale and John received many awards and accolades along the way including being Time Magazine’s Next Greatest Generation cover in 2011 and Dale was a finalist for the CNN Hero of the Year. We lost Dale too soon at age 39 on February 12, 2018. He leaves behind wife Belinda and children Dustin, Lucus and Sophia as well as his Mom, Selene Beatty. He has left an enormous gap in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know him.
His Purple Heart Homes family continues to grow and help more Veterans more quickly and efficiently each year. They are all dedicating to continue the mission John and Dale started and ensure every Veteran has a safe place to call home.
Learn more about Purple Heart Homes HERE.