The Olson Family

Waukesha, Wisconsin

U. S. Army Spc. Philip Olson was born in southern Wisconsin. He grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he attended high school and met his wife, Chenoah. In 2007, at the age of 20, Olson decided to enlist in the Army to help with the financial strain on his young family. Within six months of enlisting, he was slotted for his first deployment to Afghanistan. Olson, a man who is grounded in family values and has a strong work ethic, was ready to serve his country.

With his family always in the back of his mind, Philip fought directly under enemy fire for almost a year while in Afghanistan. During Philip’s first tour as an infantry soldier, he was shot several times in line of fire. These blows resulted in nerve damage and loss of motion in his right hand. When Olson came home from his first tour, he began to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suffered from severe migraines.

In 2012, he deployed on his second tour as a 50 Cal. Gunner for a convoy security team. During his deployment, he was medevacked due to complications with an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost feeling in his right leg for several weeks and suffered injuries in his back. While he relied on a cane or a walker for almost five months after the initial injuries were incurred, he still attends physical therapy and relies on pain medications to manage his back pain and migraines.

Olson was honorably discharged in September 2012. For his honorable service, he has received many accolades, including an Afghanistan Campaign medal with two stars, National Defense Security Award, Army Achievement medal and many more. Even after his service, Philip continues to stay involved in his local VA center. He is currently working towards higher education and building a life for his family.

Today, Philip lives in Wisconsin with his wife and son. He attends Vocational Rehabilitation and is working towards a degree in Mechanical Design. Chenoah is attending the University of Wisconsin where she is pursuing her degree in Economics. While Olson and his wife remain very busy balancing work and school, they continue to enjoy their free time with their son and their extended family in Wisconsin. Their dream is to eventually open a mechanical shop where they can combine Chenoah’s business skills with Philip’s passion and talent for fixing cars.

Operation FINALLY HOME and local builder Belman Homes along with the Metropolitan Builders Association are excited to come together to provide this home for Philip Olson and his family in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 2017.


Project Status: Built

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