Military families learn early on that home is where the heart is, as they move across the country, or across the sea, and back again.
They learn that their foundation is not made of cement but it is built upon memories with other military families they cross paths with along the way. Most agree that, while it’s a great experience to see other states and cultures, it’s nice when you can finally settle in one place and put down some roots.
Our Homes on the Homefront program gives military and veteran families a chance to do that. Since 2012, we’ve awarded more than 400 homes to military and veteran families. Whether the key is handed over at a ceremony with VIPs and celebrities in attendance, or whether it’s a quiet event with a few pictures at the front doorstep, the impact is still huge.
These families, who have sacrificed so much in their lives, are now living mortgage-free.
That means that the dollars that were once used for rent can go to earning a degree or can be put away so a child can go to college later. It means they can pay off a car faster…or buy a newer one. It means that they have more freedom, choices and control over their future.
For one family, it means they can pay their medical bills.
U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant Brian Lynch joined the National Guard because he knew it would help him grow as an individual and add discipline to his life. In 2008, he enlisted in his hometown of Rockford, Minnesota and recently reenlisted for another seven years. In 2013, he served a tour in Afghanistan.
Brian married his childhood sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two children. Michelle has needed multiple surgeries due to a medical issue she was born with. Their finances have been stretched under the weight of significant medical expenses and monthly rent.
While they’ve tried to set aside money for a home, it hasn’t been enough. Brian heard about the Homes on Homefront program and applied for a home that was near his family.
Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, Brian was awarded a mortgage-free home in Zimmerman, Minnesota.
“It means the world to us,” said Brian, “now we don’t have to move from place to place.” He is looking forward to watching his kids grow up. He and Michelle have relatives living nearby and look forward to spending the holidays together.
“I would like to say thanks and that we are very grateful,” added Brian. “I was gone for a year, but now if I go again, my family is able to do things without me being there.”
They can now settle in and place their heart and their home in one spot.
The Lynch family were featured on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown episode today. As part of their home giveaway surprise at Country Thunder in late July, they got to meet country music star Randy Houser, enjoy a great cookout with Eckrich and learn that they were also going to receive free groceries for a year from Walmart.
To find out more about our Homes on the Homefront program and see available homes across the U.S., go to www.homesonthehomefront.org. Thanks to our partners Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Meritage Homes for donating homes to this program.