Bank of America recently partnered with Operation Homefront to surprise three combat veterans and their families with new homes. The donations are part of the bank’s recently announced commitment to provide 1,000 properties nationwide to nonprofit organizations serving the needs of injured veterans and first responders. The commitment reflects the bank’s efforts to help revitalize communities and support the housing needs of those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, and those serve our communities.
The veterans were surprised with the announcement during an event at Operation Homefront’s village in San Antonio, Texas. The village provides temporary, rent-free housing for returning veterans of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping ease the transition to civilian life. Operation Homefront also operates villages in California and Maryland.
The announcement of the home donations brought emotional reactions from the recipients, including:
- Army Sgt. Eddy Dodson, his wife Mary and their four children. Sgt. Dodson served two tours of duty and was deployed twice to Iraq before retiring for medical reasons. He intends to obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology. Sgt. Dodson said that without the home donation, “I don’t know where we’d be right now.” His wife added, “This is the biggest blessing I could have ever have imagined in my life.”
- Army Specialist Robbie Cadena, his wife Joan and their son. SPC Cadena enlisted in 2008 and is currently serving. Shot twice in Afghanistan, he was reassigned to the wounded warrior battalion in San Antonio. He is pursuing a biology degree at St. Phillips College, toward a career as a physician’s assistant. Sgt. Cadena smiled broadly as his wife said, “I can’t even put this into words. I’m just shaking right now.”
- Army Specialist Charles Henry, his wife Alexandria and two sons. SPC Henry served from 2008 to 2011. While in Afghanistan he suffered internal injuries and was medically retired from the military. Charles attends the University of Texas at San Antonio and is completing coursework for a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in Nonprofit Management. Reacting to the news of the home donation, he said, “I’m in shock – my heart is beating really fast.” His wife said the donation “lets us know we’re not alone.”
San Antonio Market President Kenny Wilson said, “Bank of America has provided support to Operation Homefront’s transitional and permanent supportive housing, emergency financial assistance, child and spouse support programs since 2006. Together we are working to create real impact in military communities across the nation. Through donations such as those announced today, we continue to demonstrate our support for servicemembers who have sacrificed so much for our country.”