CEPro Magazine – MSG John Masson
Gary Sinise and IT and Media Solutions build a Smart Home for a Wounded Veteran in less that 10 months.
In 2010, MSG John Masson lost an arm and both legs while conducting Village Stability Operations in Afghanistan. He faced new challenges when he returned home, and Building for America’s Bravest, a partner program of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, was there to help.
The program selected Masson to receive a smart home, complete with automated technology to give him more independence. From lighting to security systems, whole-house audio and video to retractable cabinets, manufacturers donated nearly $130,000 worth of equipment. The Southern Pines, N.C. home includes two ELAN in-wall touchscreens
and iPad to manage three climate zones, 29 motorized window shades, a full Lutron RadioRA 2 system, two doors with electronic locks, security, surveillance, and multi-room audio and video. The home will soon be one of the first to implement the new ELAN 6×4 HDMI matrix.
“The technology is fantastic and it helps me do a lot of things much easier, even something that seems simple like changing a DVD,” says Masson, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals recipient. “That could be a challenge for me alone, but now through the ELAN g! iPad app and the Kaleidescape movie server I can change what I’m watching without needing to get in my chair and cross the room, saving me time and frustration.”
There is also a home theater dubbed “the man cave,” which features an Epson 6030 series projector, Vutec screen, five Sunfire CRS-3 ribbon wall-mounted speakers, two Sunfire SubRosa subwoofers, and six Niles speakers.
“The man cave is one of my favorite things about the house,” Masson says. “It was challenging to have guests over since I came back in 2010, and that’s something a family needs. Now we can have our family and friends come to the house without worrying about complications or space and I can set up all the music, lights and anything else from my iPad.”
Joel Berrettini, the project’s lead technology integrator and owner of IT and Media Solutions, made careful considerations for this project. He installed touchpanels at a height that is comfortable for Masson, and programmed the control system so Masson’s children only can access lighting, media and window shade controls.
“I would do anything for these men, and I will continue to do so as long as the opportunity is available,” says Berrettini. “Providing wounded veterans these homes, to regain a sense of normalcy and independence, takes a lot of partners and a lot of cooperation. The product donations from Core Brands and our other valued sponsors make these homes possible and we cannot thank them enough.”
In addition, Sandhills Home Theater provided free labor to help with the installation.
“This is truly a blessing and it’s changed our lives,” says Masson. “I’m thankful every day for everyone involved, from the builders and workers on site to the companies that donated equipment and materials, to Gary Sinise himself who helped get this amazing house built in less than 10 months.”