Soldier and family get new home, mortgage-free

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- An Arizona veteran will soon have a new place to call "home sweet home."

"I almost started crying, and I don't cry much. It's a big deal for me," says Army Specialist Phillip Martin.

Martin and his family are the recipients of a brand new home, and will be able to live there mortgage-free. Monday, the family gathered for the home's groundbreaking.

Martin applied for the new home through Operation FINALLY HOME, a program through Pulte Homes that works to provide mortgage-free homes to wounded and disabled veterans in an effort to get their lives back on track and become productive members of their communities.

Martin was wounded twice by IED explosions while serving in Afghanistan. After he applied for the housing program, he didn't give it much thought. "I didn't think I would get selected, you know?" he says.

A short-time later, Pulte selected Martin and his family for the new house. And the chance to help a family in need makes it all worthwhile for everyone involved. "The drive that it gives our culture is unbelievable," says Brad Schoenberg of Pulte Homes. "It's paying itself forward 18 times more so then we ever thought it would for our own internal teams, let alone what it's doing for the Martin family."

Martin is grateful for the gift, but he doesn't think he deserves any special treatment. "I don't feel like I earned anything more than the next guy that did on his tour overseas," he says.

The Martin family will be able to move into their new home in February. By the way, martin was one of the first responders to the Fort Hood shootings. And now he helps teach "first responder training" with the Phoenix Fire Department.