Julie Fine, NBC 5 News
Army Sergeant First Class Jody Thompson and his family were surprised with a new mortgage-free home in Fort Worth at the stock show.
A North Texas soldier was surprised with a new home Monday night at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Army SFC Jody Thompson was one of 300 soldiers who visited Fort Worth for Military Appreciation Night at the rodeo.
Not long into the event, Thompson and his family were brought into the arena for a surprise. Over the loudspeaker, the Military Warriors Support Foundation and Chase Bank announced that they wanted to honor Thompson and his family by giving them a mortgage-free home in Fort Worth.
Thompson and his fiancee, Courtney Cotton, were both overcome with emotion as someone presented them with an oversized key.
“They told us we were coming out here for military appreciation night,” said Thompson. “It is a lot to take in. It is going to change our lives. I served our country because it is something I wanted to do. I am grateful.”
He, along with Cotton and her five children, saw the new house for the first time on a monitor.
“I am so excited to start a new life, new chapter. It is a total blessing for us,” said Cotton.
Thompson, who retired after spending 10 years in the military and was wounded in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, told NBC 5 that he applied for a mortgage loan before Chase Bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation provided him with the home.
“There is nothing like seeing someone who doesn’t have a home suddenly have one,” said Elaine Agather, the chairman of the Chase Bank, Dallas region.
The family will be able to move into their new home in the middle of March.