PLAINFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- With a crowd cheering him on, Colin Dunne walked into his own house for the first time Tuesday. Included in the home were new appliances, renovated space and a salute to Dunne's service to this country.
"It just means the world to us," said Dunne, a Marine Corporal who served from 2009 to 2013.
Dunne and his wife, Sasha, were overcome by emotion as they explored the new Plainfield home because it's theirs- without any debt to pay off. Building Homes for Heroes, a non-profit, and partner organizations make this possible nationwide.
"It's very rewarding, very fulfilling, to be able to give back to veterans in this way," said Building Homes for Heroes team member Cody Brannon.
The financial freedom this provides can't be overstated for Dunne, who spent time deployed in Afghanistan from 2011-2012. Now, Dunne's wife said he attends up to 4 VA appointments in a week and hasn't been able to take on a job.
"It's just VA disabilities. So, it's a pretty set income," Sasha Dunne said.
Juggling that and care for their young daughter Sophie, Sasha Dunne hasn't been able to work regularly either, making it impossible for the couple to afford a home near family until now.
"To be back and for him to be close to his family, and for Sophie to be out here with her uncles and aunts and grandparents is huge," Sasha Dunne said.
Building homes for Heroes aims to finish a project just like this one every 11 days. That means there are dozens of veterans all across the country who are now the owners of mortgage free homes; and that is something truly remarkable to celebrate on this Giving Tuesday, making us Chicago Proud!