Building Homes for Heroes, a national nonprofit organization benefiting wounded veterans, in partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase, gifted a local Purple Heart veteran a new, mortgage-free home in Sun City Monday morning.
“We want to make sure we are providing support to those that have sacrificed for this country and provided us with the freedoms we have,” said Heather Ellison, southwest regional director for J.P. Morgan Chase.
Army Specialist Alexis Jacquez Gamez, originally from Mexico, was nearly killed in the line of duty when he stepped on an improvised explosive devise (IED) while serving in Iraq. Today, he suffers from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, migraines, hearing loss and tinnitus.
The house, designed with his specific medical needs in mind, will house Gamez, his wife and his three children.
“I’m extremely grateful and humbled,” Gamez said. “It’s just something beautiful. I’ve moved six or seven times in the last seven years and to have a house that is my house, a forever home…it just feels great to have stability.”
Back in 2002, Gamez was so grateful for his warm reception into the United States that he decided he would join the Army out of appreciation for his new home in the U.S. In 2003, Gamez was stationed in Iraq where he suffered multiple, life-threatening injuries, allowing him to medically retire in 2011. Now, he will reside in a permanent house, designed specifically for him, with his family.
“I feel blessed,” Gamez said. “It’s hard to describe with words but I feel grateful that they’re doing this for veterans, for people who have injuries and people that are struggling. This is a dream.”
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