Army veteran receives new start with new home in The Villages

Honors received include Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal

By Clay LePard - Reporter

THE VILLAGES, Fla. - A 30-year Army veteran and his service dog Park will start a new chapter with their new home in The Villages, unveiled  Tuesday.

"It's emotional, good emotion," said Sgt. John DiRaimo. "Every time you open a different, door, I'm excited."

DiRaimo served in the Army and was awarded honors for his service, including the Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

DiRaimo survived a Humvee crash and was able to rescue a fellow soldier from the damaged vehicle.

His home is a part of the Building Homes for Heroes, JPMorgan Chase & Co. program that provides homes and gifts that are mortgage-free.

"It feels like I'm visiting someone else," DiRaimo said. "I'm looking at someone else's home."
The home features certain amenities specifically for veterans to put them at ease, like a security system and water fountain.
"Most of them suffer extreme PTSD and they get very nervous," Operations Manager Kim Valdyke said.

The program hopes to have two dozen more veterans and their families moving into homes like this one within the next year.‚Äč

If you don't own a home, served after 9/11, and were injured and honorably discharged, you could be eligible to apply for the Building Homes for Heroes program.

You can apply by clicking here.

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