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Mortgage of fallen Sumter Deputy Cpl. Gillette paid off by nonprofit

This Veterans Day, a nonprofit wanted to do something special for the family of the Cpl. and former 12-year airman by completely paying off his family home.

SUMTER, S.C. — The Mortgage for the family of a Sumter County officer who died in the line of duty has now been paid off.

Cpl. Andrew Gillette was fatally shot while serving an eviction notice at a home in February.

Since then, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a group dedicated to supporting the families of fallen first responders, has stepped in to support the Cpl.’s wife and son with their mortgage.

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“We pay off mortgages or build mortgage-free homes for these great heroes, their families that are left behind, because we know that when somebody serves our country or our community and a first responder, that the whole family really serves and the whole family sacrifices in their lives when they have such a loss as with officer Gillette,” Foundation CEO Frank Siller said.

The foundation is alerted when an officer passes away and they reach out to help those who qualify, Siller said.

Credit: Sumter County Sheriff's Office
Ribbon cutting for mortgage of home now paid-off.

This Veterans Day, they wanted to do something special for the family of the Cpl. and former 12-year airman by completely paying off his family home.

“My husband, Andrew, was a true patriot and I know he would have been honored that this organization chose to honor his service,” Cpl. Gillette’s wife Marie said. “The fact that they chose to pay off the mortgage on our home relieves me of such a huge financial burden…. As we continue to grieve the loss of Andrew, I do count it a blessing how so many people have demonstrated the love of Jesus to our family.”

Ten other military families from across the country also had their mortgage paid-off this week.

Those interested in learning more about or donating to the organization can do so on their website.