(ROCKWALL, TX – July 16, 2015) U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jerry Holcomb and family received the surprise of a lifetime – and on America’s birthday, no less – when national nonprofit organization Operation FINALLY HOME and other local organizations announced they will gift a new custom-built, mortgage-free Rockwall home to the veteran. The announcement came following the FC Dallas match on July 4 at Toyota Stadium.
An emotional Jerry Holcomb and his wife were left nearly speechless upon hearing the announcement as they stood on field following the game. Next came their tears of joy as the hundreds of folks still in the stands stood to honor the veteran for his service and applaud the great news.
The home will be built courtesy of Operation FINALLY HOME, Mishler Builders and sponsors the Dallas Builders Association, TXU Energy and FC Dallas on one and a half acres at High Point Lake Estates off FM 548 onKuban Roadin Rockwall.
“The Dallas Builders Association is very involved in the community,” said Mike Mishler of Mishler Builders. “They like to give back, and that’s how we feel about it as well, and that’s why we always have a charity that we work with. These veterans are the ones who are really deserving of this because they’re the ones who have been overseas sacrificing a bunch for us, so it’s great to be able to help them out and make their transition back as easy as we can.”
Holcomb joined the U.S. Army in 2001. After his first duty assignment inKorea, he was deployed to two tours inIraqfollowed by a tour inAfghanistan. During his tour toAfghanistanin 2010, Holcomb suffered concussions during two separate grenade explosions, causing severe headaches and shrapnel wounds to the right side of his face, neck, arm and leg. In October 2010, a third blast threw him from his guard tower and rendered him unconscious with amnesia upon waking. He was immediately medically evacuated toGermany, and returned to Andrews Air Force Base inMarylandonce stabilized. His health issues include a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and neck, shoulder and back pain.
Holcomb served 13 years in Army and medically retired in November 2014, and has received many awards for his service, including two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Star Medals and many more. He currently lives inSouth Carolinawith his wife and two children, but they hope to move back to Rockwall, Texas.
According to Mishler, the whole project got started when a local family had contacted him about wanting to build a home for a disabled veteran returning from active duty, and Mishler helped connect the family – which prefers to remain anonymous – with Operation FINALLY HOME. The family made a substantial donation to the cause, making Holcomb’s new home become a reality.
Once the builders get ready to sheet rock the house, a Stud Signing Day will offer everyone from around the community an opportunity to come and “sign” their footprints in the studs in the walls by stepping on them. Mishler said folks are also invited to the groundbreaking ceremony and the presentation of the keys to the finished house to the Holcomb family.
About Operation FINALLY HOME
Operation FINALLY HOME was established in 2005 as a nonpartisan/nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help America’s military heroes and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs—a home to call their own. This year, Operation FINALLY HOME celebrates 10 years of providing custom-built, mortgage-free homes toAmerica’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom and values. To find out more, visit OperationFinallyHome.org.
By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon New staff writer and photographer. Photos: FC Dallas.
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