KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A wounded veteran and his family are excited to move into their new Kissimmee home.
The tiny cul de sac was packed with people, and American flags lined the roads as the sounds of bagpipes filled the air. A special motorcade led Marine Corps Sgt. Fernando Cabrera and his family to the driveway of their new, mortgage-free home.
Sgt. Cabrera and his family were in shock and lost for words when they walked through the doors as new homeowners.
"I can't talk right now, I'm speechless. Thank you!" Sarahi Cabrear, Sgt. Cabrera's wife, said.
The family is thanking Building Homes for Heroes. It is a national non-profit that is getting results for wounded veterans who served after 9/11. The organization builds or remodels homes and then gives the houses to vets mortgage free.
Sgt. Cabrera was seriously injured in Afghanistan in 2011 during an explosion caused by an IED. Shrapnel entered the right side of his head, causing a traumatic brain injury. The blast also fractured his right femur and damaged the soft tissue in his right arm and elbow.
Sgt. Cabrera, a Purple Heart recipient, retired from the military in August. His says his biggest concern when he left was how he was going to support his family and provide them a home when he was unable to work.
"It takes a big load off my mind. It's so beautiful," Sgt. Cabrera said.
The non-profit says this is the least they could do for Sgt. Cabrera, who risked his life to protect ours.
"He paid a sacrifice to his country that will remain with him forever with his wounds, and to be able to give him a home where he doesn't have to worry, and to know his family is safe, just whatever we can do to help our military, is what needs to be done," Kim Valdyke, with Building Homes for Heroes, said.
Building Homes for Heroes gave away 28 homes in 2016. This year, the non-profit is on track to give away 32 homes, which would be one home per week.