Tgiving 2015

As we all gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we want to take a moment to share words of thanks from our families:

“Thank you for your generosity, it means so much for military families to receive gifts from those who care about those of us who serve our country!!” Marc, California.

“We really just wanted to say a tremendous heartfelt thank you for all you have done to help us … We can never thank you or Operation Homefront enough, you helped to set our mind at ease through this whole process and for the first time in over a month we can rest easy knowing our family will be safe and comfortable … thanks to all of your efforts.” –Crystal and David, Virginia.

“Being in the military for over 22 years I missed a lot of family time. I don’t think I’ve ever been home to celebrate one of my 18-year-old daughter’s birthdays with her. So when an organization such as yours gives these opportunities to be with our families it is always a special time for us. (Our) family thanks you for the gifts and special day. We look forward to several more of those cherished family days that we missed out on over the years. God bless and thank you.” Tim, West Virginia.

“I’m just heartened to see veterans getting the chances to try to live out their lives in peace and without the stress of worry. Keep up the good work!” Raven, Tennessee.

“Operation Homefront is a blessing for all of us wounded veterans. My wife and I (were) unbelievably blessed to be expecting identical twin boys. Just when I then shock wore off and financial burden rose, Operation Homefront blessed us with an amazing baby shower to prepare us for the road ahead. Every bit counts, and we cannot ever thank you all enough!” Joseph.

“I just wanted to thank you for the incredible help you and your organization provided my family. I am positive we would have suffered so much distress without the compassion and aid extended to us. I really can’t put to words just how grateful we all are … know that you have made a real difference in our lives and we will never forget.” Rachel.

“You never gave up on us and we will be forever grateful to you and Operation Homefront for helping us with our home. Thank you so much for everything you have done … you’re an angel.” -Lisa, Virginia.

“Thank you again. A huge stress has been lifted off of my shoulders. I cried when we got off the phone. It is so amazing to talk to caring people who want to help. What you did for me and my son means more than you know. Have an awesome Christmas and New Year.” –Michelle, Florida.


The Operation Homefront family wishes to express our heartfelt thanks to our community, donors and partners who help us share our nation’s gratitude with our men and women in uniform when they need it the most. If you would like to help these families during the holiday season, when their needs are often the greatest, please consider a donation or helping with one of our Current Needs.


Happy Thanksgiving!

A Hit Worse Than A Bullet.

Vets-Day_SquareU.S. Army Specialist Justin Purifoythompson was in the 11th grade when the terrorist attacks on 9/11 occurred. He was so upset about the innocent children who lost their lives that he worked to graduate early so he could serve his country. Justin enlisted U.S. Marine Corps and then later joined the U.S. Army.

During his 13 years of service, Justin deployed six times to Iraq. He survived three roadside bombs, seven concussions, and being shot three times. But it was a hit more powerful than a bullet that eventually brought his service to an end.

Justin was living in Germany and getting ready for his seventh deployment when he started experiencing some strange health symptoms. He was shocked when he diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The doctors don’t know how or why he got the disease, but it meant he could no longer serve in the military.

Justin moved from Germany to Texas, so he could receive proper medical care at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Around the same time, he went through a divorce which left him in a tough place financially. Others around him said he’d be a good match for rent-free housing at the Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio. He applied and was accepted.

Living at the Operation Homefront Villages gave Justin a secure place from which to start over. After only four months at the Village, he said his bank account had already started filling back up. He was able to save $14,000 and bring his family over from Germany. As time went by, he was able to build a home, find post-military employment, and most importantly, get back to being “Dad” for his children.

“The Villages helped significantly — helped my family become stronger, more stable and more secure while in transition,” said Justin.

“Operation Homefront gave me and my family a new start,” said Purifoythompson. “If we weren’t here, we’d be in a big hole.”



Operation Homefront is honored to be able to answer the call of our brave men and women in uniform when they need it the most. We are able to do so because of the amazing supporters who stand beside us. If you would like to help answer the call, join us at operationhomefront.net/answerthecall

It Started With A Bet.

ButlerPictureJason Butler said there was a bet between him and four of his buddies about joining the military. He was the only one who followed through and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1996. He considers himself to be the winner.

In his nearly 20 years of service, Jason deployed five times. During his last deployment in 2012 to Afghanistan, he sustained injuries during a firefight and was evacuated to Naval Hospital Balboa in San Diego. His family was already stationed in San Diego at the time, but his wife, Melody, had to quit her job to take care of him. They were soon struggling to make ends meet.

Approaching medical retirement, Jason had to make plans for his transition into civilian life. His recovery care coordinator told him about the help that Operation Homefront could provide his family, which included rent-free transitional housing. He applied and was accepted to the Operation Homefront Village in San Diego.

“We used to feel alone in this process,” said Jason and Melody. “Through Operation Homefront, we didn’t feel alone anymore.”

While there, they had the ability to work on paying off any loans and debt and were able to reduce their overall debt by $20,000. Their time at the OH Village also allowed them to focus on their family and on Jason’s health. It created a safety net for them while they established healthcare for Jason through the VA.

Jason and Melody moved on from the OH Village recently and will soon enjoy a home of their own in California. Jason continues his physical therapy. Jason and Melody are well on their way to creating a strong, stable and secure future for their family and living at the OH Village helped them at a time they needed it most.

“(Operation Homefront) supported the transition, our family – especially the kids, and we will be forever grateful…,” said Jason and Melody.

We’ll be hosting an open house in late January to celebrate the opening of our new Operation Homefront Village in San Diego, CA. Below are a few pictures of the beautiful, peaceful and secure environment where several wounded warrior families already live. If you’d like to be a part of making a difference for these families, consider how you can answer the call.

(from left to right: The atrium and open area for residents to gather. Heather and Gracie, who oversee the OH Village program in California, enjoy time on the terrace. Residents get to enjoy a scenic pool area to exercise and relax.)

(from left to right: The atrium and open area for residents to gather. Heather and Gracie, who oversee the OH Village program in California, enjoy time on the terrace. Residents get to enjoy a scenic pool area to exercise and relax.)



Feeling Safe Again.


“From the second we got here, it reduced my symptoms…it’s a safer environment”

Our men and women in uniform accept that their call to duty can mean deploying to dangerous areas of the world. They look forward to the day when they can come home and be safe and secure among their communities and loved ones.

U.S. Marine Sophea Tan was no different. During his time in service, Sophea deployed twice – once for 14 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, then for eight months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a result of injuries sustained during those deployments, he was assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Sam Houston while he received care at San Antonio Military Medical center. He, his wife, and three children lived in a home off base.

The family’s security was shattered when their home was broken into. The intruders broke in through the back door and stole everything. The violation rocked the family and triggered a worsening of Sophea’s post-traumatic stress. He began to show signs of worsening PTSD and he was losing sleep. His wife, Pitou, became significantly concerned that continuing to reside in the home would contribute to more of a decline in Sophea’s health, something they had been working so very hard to improve. After hearing about our Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio from other families on base, she suggested it as a solution to help address the crisis the found themselves in. Sophea applied and was accepted into the transitional housing program.

Living at the OH Village allowed Sophea to focus more on healing without worrying about the safety of his family. “From the second we got here, it reduced my symptoms…it’s a safer environment. I didn’t see shadows at night as often. When I was at the hospital, I didn’t have to worry about my wife being safe.” But it wasn’t just emotional and physically healing he found. Living in the rent-free apartments helped Sophea pay off debt and save for a down payment on a new home for his family.

Their future plans for their transition include pursuing their educations. Sophea wants to finish his master’s degree in criminal justice. His wife, Pitou, wants to study English as a second language and earn a certificate in cosmetology.

Vets-Day_fbthumbBlogOperation Homefront is honored to be able to answer the call of our brave men and women in uniform when they need it the most. We are able to do so because of the amazing supporters who stand beside us. If you would like to help answer the call, join us at operationhomefront.net/answerthecall


KuschBlogImgArmy Sergeant Raymond Kusch has deployed to war zones in both Iraq and Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan on an ambush patrol of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) factory, he knew he would need to move carefully. He didn’t know that danger was imminent.

Raymond began to move across a wall, inching closer to the target with each step. But when he placed his foot on the other side he stepped on a pressure plate IED. The explosion blew him 15 feet from the spot. Raymond was awake and alive, but his foot was gone. Shrapnel peppered his entire body. The sound of the blast punctured his ear drum. He suffered nerve damage in his right hand as well as a Traumatic Brain Injury.

Doctors operated several times, taking more of his leg with each surgery. In the months after he was injured, Raymond and his wife, Alyssa, experienced heartache after heartache. Raymond battled PTSD, the couple was homeless for over a month, and Alyssa suffered a miscarriage when the stress of their situation became too much.

Operation Homefront gave the Kusch family a safe haven. The family was put into one of our Operation Homefront Villages in Maryland and provided a rent-free apartment while they transitioned to civilian life.

Not only did living at the OH Village give the Kusch family a roof over their head, but it also offered access to a debt counselor to help them plan for the future. Raymond and Alyssa began to save money and pay down their debt, putting them in a better position for life after the military. They were able to save thousands of dollars, pay off several credit cards, and only have one car payment.

Raymond and his wife have since completed our program at the OH Village and moved back to their home state of Michigan.

“I really appreciate what you all did for me,” said Raymond. “A lot of stress was lifted from me.”

Raymond is now co-owner of a gaming business. His wife, Alyssa, went back to school to be a medical x-ray technician. Their story is one of many examples of the difference we are able to make in the lives of so many families, thanks to all of our generous donors and corporate partners.

We’d like to thank ESPN who recently gave $100,000 to help families who stay at our Operation Homefront Villages. If you’d like to make a difference for our military and veteran families through Operation Homefront, find out how you can answer the call.

SambouBlogImageJoining the military is a serious commitment. Knowing what it means to serve and being willing to accept what that entails is something that requires serious consideration. Adama Sambou thought long and hard about his decision to join the Army Reserves. He wanted to give back to his adopted country, but his friends were concerned and not the most supportive of the idea. In his heart though, Adama knew it was the right decision.

During his time in the Reserves, Adama spent time in South Carolina, Texas, and Nebraska. He became a combat medic and was the non-commissioned officer in charge of a clinic when he was injured and returned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas for treatment for his injuries.

When he was first assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sam Houston, Adama heard about the Operation Homefront Villages program from his platoon leader. He immediately went to the OH Village to make inquiries about the program. At that time, Adama was not eligible to be a OH Village resident as he had not started the medical evaluation board process. But when that day arrived, he reapplied and was accepted. “That day, I was happy and smiling despite my pain,” said Adama.

While living at the Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio, Adama was able to save money and look towards the future. He used his VA loan to purchase a home for his wife, LaLa and their three children, and the money he saved he used to purchase furniture and appliances. His future plans include returning to school to study information technology security at Texas A & M University in San Antonio. LaLa has successfully gained employment with the city after receiving her bachelor’s degree in public health.

“I am grateful to Operation Homefront and that there are people out there with good hearts to help service members,” said Adama. “You guys fill a gap and have stepped up to the plate when it comes to helping the military. You have saved a lot of families.”

Vets-Day_fbthumbBlogIf you’d like to make a difference for our military and veteran families through Operation Homefront, find out how you can answer the call.



Something Great Awaited.

At age 23, a young Californian named Jose Louis Ruiz decided he needed a new direction to make a difference in this world! So “Louie” joined the Marines. And it changed his life.

Louie served as a field artillery cannoneer. After honorably serving for 11 years, Louie was medically retired in 2015. The physical impact of service and repeated tours in a combat zone had finally taken its toll on his health.


For Louie and his family, their lives were about to change.

At the time he was retired, Louie and his family were stationed in Japan. Because of the rapid nature of his transition from service, Louie, his wife and their two children were facing a return to the states without a secure place to call home. That was when they heard about Operation Homefront Villages, which provide rent-free transitional housing for wounded warrior families.

Louie applied to the program, and he and his family were accepted into the program into the Operation Homefront Village in California. During their time at the OH Village, they were able to save money and get their lives financially on track. “The Operation Homefront Village helped my family become strong, stable and secure to prepare for life after transition.”

What they didn’t know at the time was that something even greater was around the corner.

After hearing about our Homes on the Homefront program that provides mortgage-free homes to veteran families, Louie submitted an application.


Louie and his wife were overcome with emotion when they were awarded a mortgage-free home through Homes on the Homefront. “We have a place to call home.”

As they waited for news, the family was invited by Operation Homefront to attend the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Military Appreciation Day. A fun afternoon for the family would turn out to be much more.

First, Louie and his wife were brought on stage to be honored for service.

Chase Auto Finance CEO Thasunda Duckett and Operation Homefront Chief Development Officer Margi Kirst said a few words of appreciation and then told them they had been chosen to receive a mortgage-free home in Murrieta, California!

The couple were overcome with emotion and disbelief. “So much stress will be lifted off of my shoulders because of (this),” said Louie. “We have a place to call home.”

Louie’s future plans are to settle into the new home, become financially stable, and go back to school to receive a bachelor’s degree.

“We are fortunate that we won’t have to be moving from place to place anymore,” said Louie. “Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, we have a home.”

Vets-Day_fbthumbBlogOperation Homefront is closing in on awarding our 500th home through our Homes on the Homefront program. This would not be possible with the support of partners like Chase and our incredible community of donors. Learn more about our Homes the Homefront program at www.homesonthehomefront.org. To help address the housing concerns of our nation’s military and wounded warriors, consider supporting one of our Current Needs.



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