“Homes for Our Troops” provides assistance to the most severely injured service members nationwide who have been injured since September 11, 2001, by providing them with mortgage-free, specially adapted homes. Most of the veterans they serve have sustained injuries that include multiple amputations, full or partial paralysis, and severe traumatic brain injury.     

In 2016, Escondido’s home town hero, former Marine Sgt. Toran Gaal, was selected to receive one of these homes. Toran lost both legs and suffered brain damage during the Afghanistan War.  After his long road to recovery, he settled in Escondido.  Prior to his service in the Marine Corp, Toran was a former Division 1 college basketball player at Dayton.  After his injury Toran thought he would never step on a basketball court again, but when his daughter Bella decided to play basketball in the Escondido Police Athletic League (PAL) he agreed to coach the team. Toran now is a leader in the PAL program and a volunteer for the Escondido Police Department.

On February 6, from 9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m., a special recognition event will be held  at the Park Avenue Community Center (210 Park Avenue) to honor Toran, Homes for Our Troops and all the sponsors who help make dreams a reality for severely wounded military veterans.   At this event there will be a short video about Toran’s military service, the details of his injury and recovery, and the importance of having a home that will accommodate his injuries. At 10:00 a.m., Toran will receive a police and fire escort to the Community Center.  

The City of Escondido is proud to salute our hometown Military Hero and Escondido Police Volunteer, Sgt. Toran Gaal.