U.S. Army Sgt. Franz Ulrich Walkup was born in Reutlingen, Germany on September 12, 1988 and moved to the United States in 2001. Today, Walkup lives in Woodbury, Tennessee. In fact, he is doing more than living in recent days, he is thriving.
The death of his older brother, 1st Lt. Frank Bland Walkup, who was killed in action in 2007 while serving in Iraq, inspired Franz to join the military and serve his country. He was deployed to Iraq for Operation New Dawn in 2010 with Bravo Company 1st Battalion 7th Field Artillery Regiment.
In 2012, after his first deployment, Franz married his wife Shannon Dawn Walkup, and was then assigned to the 3rd Platoon Destined Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, and 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team where he performed the duties of a Forward Observer. On September 29th, 2012 while deployed in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan, Franz sustained five gunshot wounds from Afghan National Army soldiers. He suffered injuries classified as polytrauma, including major nerve damage to his legs and severe abdominal injuries.
Franz was immediately flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he slowly recovered. While at Walter Reed, he was assigned to Alpha Company, Warrior Transition Brigade. He has spent the last year at the Colorado School of Trades where he pursued his passion for gun smithing, which he hopes will turn into a career.
On Thursday (12/22/16), Walkup received a brand new SPECIALLY ADAPTED SMART HOUSE built in his community of Woodbury, Tennessee thanks to a program called R.I.S.E. He looks forward to starting a family with Shannon in their new home.
Where: 254 Cannon Way, Woodbury, TN 37190
What: Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program, along with our donors, including Bank of America, FedEx, Semper Fi Fund, The Home Depot Foundation, Phoenix Patriot Foundation, Honoring the Sacrifice and Boot Campaign, as well as our building partners, Shubert Design Furniture, CORE Brands, National Wood Flooring Association, National Tile Contractors Association, GE, Benjamin Moore, North American Van Lines, Sunbelt Rentals, NAHB, Crossville Tile, BrightView Landscapes, MAPEI and American Airlines, will join the Woodbury, TN community in turning over this specially adapted smart home to U.S. Army Sgt. Franz Walkup and his wife.
Prior Dedication Ceremony Videos of Completed Gary Sinise Foundation's Specially Adapted Smart Homes: