A North Texas Marine, who served and nearly died in Afghanistan, will move into a new home by the end of the year thanks to a local home builder and Operation Finally Home.
It's all thanks to a veterans group and a home builder.
Cpl.l John Hootsell nearly gave the ultimate sacrifice two years ago while serving in Afghanistan, when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb.
"The injury list is endless, he’s a miracle to be surviving and he’s still going through rehab, still facing some surgeries," said Daniel Vargas, of Operation Finally Home.
"He needs this house to get back on his feet for he and his wife," said Bryan Swindell, the DFW division president for PulteGroup which owns Centex Homes.
"We’ve been through all the rough times already, I think it’s time for some good times," Cpl. Hootsell said.
and his wife, Brandie, had no idea what good awaited them Thursday afternoon in Far North Fort Worth. They arrived to fanfare and applause from soon-to-be neighbors, contractors and home builder employees.
"I’ve never had so many people in one place for me, I don't think," Hootsell said.
The couple had been looking for a home, but don't have to any longer. As Centex Homes and Operation Finally Home offered them a mortgage free home on the lot where the celebration took place. It's a surprise they never saw coming.
"I had no idea," he said. "We had met with them and they were talking about all the other people they were going to be interviewing. It was, it was a mindblower."
For those responsible for making it happen, it's just a way to say thank you.
"We owe this to them," Vargas said. "They deserve to have the American dream."
Hootsell knows how we'll spend the first day living that dream.
"I’ll probably sit on the couch and watch TV, I’ll probably be tired by then," said Hootsell.
A well deserved rest in something that’s more than just brick and mortar to him and his family.
"To some people it might just be a building, just a house, but for us it’s a home," he said. "We don’t plan on moving, we don’t plan on ever leaving it, so thank you guys, very much."
This is the second house that Pulte, Centex and Operation Finally Home veteran in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the last few years.