Posts Tagged ‘Wells Fargo’

What an exciting time. Last week, we celebrated the 500th family to find that special place to call home thanks to our Homes on the Homefront program and our partners Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Meritage Homes.

IMG959296Moving around is part of military life. Blooming where you are planted becomes a way of life. But when service to country is coming to a close, many families begin to dream of planting roots and creating their forever home.

Last Friday, the dream came true for Andrew and his family after years of uncertainty.

Andrew, a Navy veteran, deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and served one year in combat. In 2014, he was honorably discharged and suffers from post-traumatic stress. Since their transition into civilian life, the family has moved three times. It has been unpleasant and unstable for Andrew and his family. Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, Andrew, who was raised in Atlanta, received a mortgage-free home in Bethlehem, Georgia.

Andrew and his family have come home.

BethlehemGAhomeEach family we have been honored to meet and support through our Homes on the Homefront program is unique. They were born and raised in large cities and small towns. Many have served in combat and still carry the seen and unseen wounds of war. What they share in common is the call to serve and then find their place when that service is over.

At Friday’s ceremony, Chief Operating Officer Robert Thomas spoke of the driving force behind the Homes on the Homefront program. “At Operation Homefront, we believe that owning a home is part of the American dream,” said Thomas. “After helping to secure the freedoms all Americans enjoy, we want to help our service members and their families realize their own American dreams.”

“We want to thank Operation Homefront and Chase for this opportunity,” said Andrew. “I wanted to do this for my wife because she moved around the country and dealt with my military enlistment. I thank them for making this possible, providing a stable home, and that we don’t have to worry about making the next rent payment – now we have a roof over our head.”

Those of us who work in the military and veteran community are acutely aware that stability and strong social support when transitioning out of the military can make a difference and help avoid the roadblocks and challenges that contribute to the still concerning number of homeless veterans. Today, more than 500 families are making memories and providing stable and secure futures for themselves in every state in America.

Total HOTH Homes Jan 2016

Along with our emergency assistance programs that offer assistance with rent and mortgages and our transitional housing at Operation Homefront Villages, the Homes on the Homefront program is having a life-changing impact for these families at a critical time.

And that is a reason to celebrate.


View more pictures from the event.

Part of the American dream always has been owning a home. After helping to secure the freedoms all Americans enjoy, we want to help our warriors and their families realize their own American dreams. Through a partnership with Chase, Bank of American and Wells Fargo, Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program awards mortgage-free homes to veteran and military families.  Click here to view a list of currently available homes.

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What better way to kick off 2015 than to help a family of service with a place to call their own? Thanks to Wells Fargo, we traveled to the heartland of America this week to award a mortgage-free home to the Williams family.

Born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, Robert Williams was seeking a higher calling to travel and see the world. He saw an opportunity with the Army and enlisted in his hometown in 1980.

And see the world he did. Robert served in Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Germany during his 20 years of service. Though he is retired now, the tradition of service continued with his children. Their daughter served in the Air Force until her medical retirement this summer, and their son is currently active in the Army.


The Williams daughter told her parents about this mortgage-free home in Iowa and encouraged them to apply to our Homes on the Homefront program.

In June of this year, Robert and his wife of 35 years, Darlene, just moved to Bettendorf, Iowa due to his current employment. They found a small apartment where they are currently living. Their daughter recently told them about the Homes on the Homefront program and that as fate would have it, there was a home to be awarded in Bettendorf. So, Robert applied, and this week, he and Darlene were awarded the mortgage-free home.

Robert and Darlene are looking forward to spending quality time with their grandchildren. They would also like to change lives through joining a local church group and make a difference in their community. Robert and Darlene add, “…it’s a second chance and they [Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo] are making dreams come true. Through this dream, they will allow us to make more dreams come true.”

Since its inception, Operation Homefront and its partners awarded over 450 homes to military and veteran families across the USA. Wells Fargo has donated more than 105 of the homes. This is the first home with Wells Fargo and Operation Homefront in Iowa. To learn more about the program, visit www.homesonthehomefront.org


We’re proud to honor the service of the Williams family and know they will make a lifetime of memories in their new mortgage-free home, thanks to our partnership with Wells Fargo.

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You could say Edward Smith has the military in his blood. Born and raised in Freeport, New York, Edward knew early on that he wanted to answer the call to serve his country. It’s easy to see why. His father was a Korean War veteran and had a major influence on him wanting to join the military.

edwardsmith-300pixelsHis father had served in the Army, but Edward had a longing for the wind and the waves. So in 1984, he joined the Coast Guard in his hometown. After serving for seven years in the Coast Guard, Edward’s love of the water led him to join the Navy. He served another seven years and received an honorable discharge from the Navy before returning to the Coast Guard as a reservist in 1998.

As an assistant master of arms, Edward assisted in law enforcement by enforcing discipline and non-traditional punishment. During his 30 years of military service, Edward was deployed to Iraq in 2008.

Unable to afford his own home, Edward was living in a one bedroom apartment. With two teenage children, it felt a little crowded for a family of three. After hearing about our Homes on the Homefront program through a veteran’s program, Edward decided to apply for a home.

Thanks to Operation Homefront and our partner Wells Fargo, Edward received a mortgage-free home in Connecticut. “It’s a perfect situation,” Edward said. “This will provide stability and improve my financial situation.”

Edward still spends time on the water as a tug boat captain, but he hopes to retire soon. He also plans on transferring his GI Bill to his children and help put them through college. Until then, he’d like to spend more quality time with them camping and white water rafting.

Vets-Day_blog_icontact“Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo are what make this country great,” added Edward. “Thank you all for helping the veteran community.”

Thank you, Edward, for how you chose to answer the call and build a life of military service.

Join Operation Homefront as we increase our efforts to help our military families. Find out more at www.operationhomefront.net/answerthecall .

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HOTH_home_CallForEntriesAlbanyGAThrough our Homes on the Homefront program, mortgage-free homes, like this one in Albany, GA, are currently open for application. We also currently have open homes in CA, CT, FL, IL, MD and TX. While we don’t know when homes will open in  a particular state, if you are eligible and fill out an application, you will be notified via email when new homes open for application. Find out more at www.homesonthehomefront.org.

In addition, three of the homes come to us from our friends at Meritage Homes who have renewed their partnership with Operation Homefront to provide three more brand new Meritage homes to the Homes on the Homefront program.

Meritage Homes plans to build and donate a home in each of the following three Meritage communities: Winter Springs, Florida; Lincoln, California; and Houston, Texas. Find out more about our amazing partnership and how to apply.

In order to qualify for the Homes on the Homefront Program, the following requirements must be met:

— Must have an honorable discharge if a Veteran. This includes dual Military/Veteran couples; each Military Veteran must have an honorable discharge in order to qualify for the program.

— Cannot be a current home owner or mortgage holder. This includes any household member that would be residing in the home.

— Cannot have a felony criminal conviction. This includes all adult household members that would  reside in the home.

— Must have supporting documentation such as proof of income, VA paperwork, DD214 (member 2, 4, 7 or 8), Military ID and or government issued picture ID in order to process your application.

— If you or a member of your immediate family (parents, spouse etc.) are employed by Chase, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America you may not be eligible for homes donated by that banking institution, and we ask for full disclosure of the employment in that case.

And stay tuned… for the first time, we’ll have a residence in the Aloha State very soon!



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mantheveteransblogAs we near the end of our 11 stories series, we meet a wounded warrior who focused on gaining stability for himself and his family. That quest took him all over the world and eventually back home to Wisconsin.

Army Specialist Ben Manthe was born and raised in Spencer, Wis. He always wanted to do something bigger with his life. He wanted to make a difference. Ben went to college right after high school and got a degree. He was working in his degree field, but was not really enjoying what he was doing. He wanted to do something that he felt mattered.

He and his wife Kristal also had two children to provide for, so they were looking for more stability in pay and benefits. One evening the couple was watching television when an Army commercial came on. Ben and Kristal each looked at each other and the discussion began. Shortly after that evening in 2010, Ben enlisted in the Army.

Ben was stationed at Ft. Polk, La. and deployed to Afghanistan. While deployed, he suffered multiple injuries that would lead to his medical retirement. The injuries would also land him in San Antonio, Texas for treatment and recovery. He and Kristal have made the best of their time in the city, but missed being close to friends and family. Kristal was from a small town called Seymour, Wis., about two hours away from Ben’s hometown.

Early in 2013, the family heard about Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program and immediately applied for a mortgage-free home in Kenosha, Wis. A few months later, the couple received word that they would be awarded the home, enabling them to move closer to family and their support system as  Ben made his transition from the military.

“We weren’t having the most secure time financially, and Ben’s joining the Army became a great help to us,” said Kristal. “It was a stable life and stability is such an important thing. When that stability is taken from you, it can be very tough. “

“I am still pinching myself to wake up from this dream,” said Ben. “I am at a loss for words. This is going to help us so much to put down roots and recreate that stability for our family. We are very excited to actually have a place to call home.”

To date, our Homes on the Homefront program has matched more than 200 homes with very deserving veteran families. And there are nearly 100 more homes in process. We are grateful to have partners like Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and recently, Meritage Homes, who join us in awarding mortgage-free homes to veterans.

Join in the conversation with us as we celebrate those veterans among us, by sharing stories of your own. Through Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #11days11stories to share your own inspirational story of a veteran in your life.


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And even better when that home is mortgage free!

It was an amazing day in Georgia, when our Operation Homefront family gathered to share the joy of handing the Bowen family the keys to their mortgage free home.

(*from right to left): Lt. General Brian Arnold (ret), Raytheon, Amy Palmer, Nick Kaylor, the Bowen family, Liz Fichtel, Viktor Zikas, RADM Joseph Kilkenny (ret), CSX Transportation

Corey Bowen was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. He always wanted to serve as a role model for his two younger brothers. Shortly after high school, Corey enlisted in the Marine Corps to be that role model in their lives and to serve his country at the same time.

Serving for 10 years, Corey performed primary scout duties as a rifleman. Corey would deploy twice in his career, once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. While deployed, Corey would suffer injuries that will eventually lead to his medical retirement this month.

Corey, his wife De’Trese, and their four children currently live in the Operation Homefront Village in Southern California. The rent-free living during his transition out of the service has helped allow the family to get themselves back on track and focus on what they would like to do in the future.

“I will be enrolling in school soon to obtain my bachelor’s in Business or Human Resources,” said Corey. “My plan for the future is to join the workforce in the Human Resources field specializing in organizational & employee development or staffing. If given the opportunity I would also like to explore the Employee and Labor relations field.”

Corey’s family lives all over the Atlanta area, and he has wanted to move back home for a while. The Bowen family is currently unsure of what the future may hold, but are very excited to hear that they were selected to receive a mortgage-free home in Lawrenceville, Ga. from Operation Homefront, United Rentals, and Wells Fargo.

We can’t thank United Rentals and Wells Fargo enough for being a huge part of making this happen for the Bowens through our Homes on the Homefront program.

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A military family writes openly about their move into their new mortgage-free home in Macon, GA, provided by our Homes on the Homefront program. The following includes excerpts from their blog Biddle Buzz. You can read the full version here. At Operation Homefront, we are proud to partner with Chase, Tim McGraw, American Signature Furniture and Tyson to make the American dream of owning a home come true for so many military families, like the Biddle family.

As we pulled onto our new street, camera men from CNN were at our house and filming every move from us parking, to getting out of our vehicles, to us walking through the house. The Biddles in front of their new home with Andrea Kephart from Operation Homefront.

When we pulled up, to say emotions flew everywhere would be an understatement. Our house is bigger than it looks in photos. It is GORGEOUS inside and out! We finally all have room to live and be ourselves. Our girls have their own rooms!!! That alone is AMAZING.

As soon as we pulled up to our house, I instantly felt overpowered by emotions and became very shaky as I got out of the car and walked to the yard. Of course, as soon as I was standing in front of our house I started with some tears. I actually did very well in containing myself as we walked through.

This whole experience has been above and beyond amazing. Quite honestly, it still a bit surreal and we are trying to process things and adjust. Andrea from Operation Homefront, Rusty from Chase, Joe and American Signature, Tim McGraw, our contractors and everyone else that has been involved in this amazing experience, we cannot say Thank You enough. Truthfully, saying thank you doesn’t seem sufficient enough. There is no way to repay all that we have been blessed with.

We talked outside for a few minutes then entered our house for the tour… WOW! As we entered the house, there was a plant in the foyer (yes, I have actually been watering it!).  As we walked up the stairs, Andrea grabbed my hand and told us we had to close our eyes because we would love what is at the top of the steps.

When she told us to open them, we were in awe. Our bedroom greets anyone that goes upstairs with french doors and a big room. We walked into our room and just stood there in shock.The Biddles master bedroom.

From there we looked at the kids rooms, which they had already claimed.

Some of our furniture came from American Signature in Lithonia, GA. (They) sent us a voucher to furnish some of our house. Ask for the manager, Joe Lane and tell him we sent you. No, we do not get any type of reward/incentive for sending you. We just REALLY love the store and the people in it. We could not have asked for a better company and people!

When we walked into the store, we were warmly greeted by a group of people that work there and were expecting us. Joe walked out with flowers. They led us to the office area, where there was a table set up with fruits, juice, coffee, and breakfast type pastries. Following the time in the office, we all headed out to look at the furniture. I think everyone took off in different directions during this time! Joe headed out with me and helped me find things that fit our house perfectly! We managed to find all that we need to fill our house and absolutely LOVE every piece of furniture.

Joe Lane, manager of the American Signature Furniture store in Lithonia, GA welcomes the Biddles’ son to the store.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you that have played a part in this journey and made dreams come true. You are bringing hope back to combat veterans and their families and giving them a “reason” again. You are enabling us and families like us to give back in ways that we couldn’t before without the stresses that many of us face. Not only can we now give back more, but this also gives us the opportunity to focus more on Kevin’s injuries and find more stability in life for him, it allows each of us to have better medical care. It allows Kevin and I to do more for and with our children that before we couldn’t. Such as taking a day and allowing them to see the ocean for the very first time just days after moving in. It allows us to find who we are now in life and for that one thing and everything else we are forever grateful for this.

For the first time I feel like a weight has been lifted off of us and that things are finally beginning to look up. For years now, we have had so many obstacles thrown our way and we have fought so many battles to overcome them, together. With this positive turn, we can now look forward to our future.

Thank you family and friends for supporting us and standing beside us before the move, during, and now as we slowly transition.

The beautiful home provided, mortgage-free, to the Biddle family as part of Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program.

We also want to thank Tyson who joined us recently and is providing a year’s supply of Tyson products to families, including the Biddles, who receive homes through our Homes on the Homefront program. In addition, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have also started providing homes and support to our program and we are deeply grateful.

As part of the giveaway experience, the Biddles got to meet Tim McGraw and hear him in concert this summer.

As part of their giveaway experience, the Biddles got to meet Tim McGraw and hear him in concert this summer.

All members of the family get comfortable in the new home.

All members of the family get comfortable in the new home.

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