The way Army Staff Sergeant Chris Maust sees it, he and many of his comrades were motivated to serve because they love all things American. Chief among those things, he says, is football, one of his personal favorite sports. He and his fellow soldiers often would stay up until the pre-dawn hours just to catch a game airing back in the States on a television they modified to receive the signal.
Something else many Americans value is the day they can own their own home, and on Saturday, Feb. 9, that dream came true for the 29-year-old veteran.
Bank of America and The Texas Sentinels Foundation surprised SSG Maust with the keys to a debt-free 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in the Keegan’s Bayou subdivision in unincorporated Fort Bend County. SSG Maust was surprised on-stage with the keys to the home by Texas Sentinels Foundation founder Richard Filip and its Executive Officer Susie Barlow during the 36th Annual RE/MAX of Texas Statewide Convention. Richard and Jeanne Filip are the former owners of the regional office that serves and supports hundreds of RE/MAX real estate offices in Texas and thousands of its affiliated Realtors.
SSG Maust thought he was attending the convention in San Marcos to receive a real estate scholarship which will pay for his training leading up to his real estate license as part of his Lifetime Scholarship from the Texas Sentinels Foundation. He didn’t know the organization would throw in a debt-free home as part of its ongoing partnership with Bank of America.
As part of Bank of America’s efforts to help revitalize communities and support the housing needs of those who have served and sacrificed for our nation and communities, the company has pledged to make up to 1,000 homes available nationwide through property donations to military veteran-support charities and other non-profit, community-based organizations. This donation is made possible through a partnership with Texas Sentinels Foundation, created to give back to the military men and women of our Armed Forces who have served our country.
SSG Maust has served 12 years in the U.S. Army and was deployed five times, including three combat tours in Iraq where he worked as a Cavalry Scout (19D) with a military occupational specialty of Light and Mechanized. He began his tours of Iraq in 2004 and was in Baghdad in 2005 when the first democratic elections were held.
In 2006, while assigned as a Bradley commander in the 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry regiment, he was injured by multiple blasts from improvised explosive devices. Today, SSG Maust continues to deal with the results of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and knee and shoulder injuries. A neck and vertebrae combat injury recently resulted in surgery in December last year.
He earned the Bronze Star Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, a National Defense Service Ribbon, three Good Conduct Medals, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, three Iraqi Campaign Medals with Campaign Stars, three Overseas Service Ribbons, an Army Service Ribbon and two Non-Commissioned Officer Education Ribbons. SSG Maust was recently granted medical discharge from the Army.
Military service runs in the family for this Sealy native, as two of his brothers are Marines and an uncle was in the National Guard. SSG Maust requested to be stationed at Fort Hood with the 1st Cavalry regiment because “it is such a storied unit with an incredible combat record,” he said.
SSG Maust, a 2001 graduate of Brazos High School in Wallis, said he felt especially compelled to join the military after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But there is one more important reason he chose to serve.
“My son Dylan is seven years old and is the reason I chose to make the Army my career,” he said. “I wanted to provide a great role model for him and could think of nothing better than being a soldier and father at the same time.”
SSG Maust his exploring his post-military career options, and would like to earn a college degree and work as a professional Realtor, he said, and intends to affiliate with Robert Ricketts’ independently owned and operated RE/MAX Grand in Katy where he will work with The Corby Callaway Team.
SSG Maust, who says he enjoys sports “more than most,” now combines his love of football with his passion for helping other soldiers. He likes to spend weekends in the fall taking veterans to Houston Texans games.
“It is extremely rewarding to help my fellow soldiers get to experience that, thanks to the Texas Sentinels Foundation,” he said.
The Texas Sentinels Foundation would like to thank the following businesses for their support in this project: National Restoration Technologies helped refurbish the home for the Maust family; EZ Floors installed new floors throughout the home; The Original Blind Man provided and installed custom window treatments; The Furniture Bank of Houston donated furniture; Coventry Homes donated furnishings and home accessories and Corby Callaway from RE/MAX Grand served as the Texas Sentinels Foundation Team Leader for this project, and he coordinated volunteers and sponsors to ensure all deadlines were met.
Update, Feb. 24, 2013
Please join us as the Texas Sentinels Foundation and Bank of America present a debt-free home to our latest Texas Sentinel recipient, SSG Chris Maust, U.S. Army.
March 1, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
RSVP to Susie Barlow, Texas Sentinels Foundation Executive Officer at: