Operation FINALLY HOME and Henley Homes Inc. partnered to build veteran Ray Coffey and his farmily a mortgage-free home.
[MUSIC] When we started construction here, had the groundbreaking in August. Had probably somewhere in the range of I don't know, 300 volunteers. Maybe more that Gave time, material, sweat and everyone of them did it with love in their hearts. Most rewarding piece of the whole process was being able to hand them that key mortgage free. It will open nothing, [LAUGH] Welcome home. The day we got the house was overwhelming. There was Hundreds of people there.>>I mean there were 400 people in my front yard. There's not a hundred people in this town. And I knew, maybe, two of them, personally, so it was really neat.>>I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. People emotionally connected. We were able to get General Williams in from Huntsville, Alabama. We had actually worked together at Camp Pendleton, California. And the first man to greet Ray when he stepped out of that car was General Williams. [APPLAUSE] They recognized each other from like six or eight years ago. And Ray was [APPLAUSE] And up to many of us, it's where it's at. We haven't been getting a lot of that. I thought that was really cool. [MUSIC] We moved around a lot. I think for my parents, this is the 18th move? Your home is Stability for your family, it means security, it's a place where you make memories, it's a place where you feel safe, all of these things were a constant stresser and a burden and a worry on not just me but on Ray and on the kids. The home that they lived in over in Cyprus, didn't meet probably 10% of his needs. If we hadn't gotten the house when we had, we'd definitely would have been further down hill. The emergency room trips were more frequent. Instead of going maybe once a month it was every other week/ This two story house, so he was, he couldn't even go upstairs. It was harder for him to get up. And every time he did, mom would scream at him. There were so many times where his legs would give and he would fall and tumble down the stairs. So, going upstairs to our rooms, to our upstairs livingroom, to the desk To the office. I mean all of that was upstairs. He had no access to it. He couldn't get to us. He was very grateful when he walked in and he was able to walk all the way through. And even when he walked out onto that screen porch. He said, I didn't have to step down and get on my porch. That was an issue. We had a covered patio in our last house. But he couldn't get in and out. In fact he severely bruised all of his hands and knuckles trying to force himself repeatedly out the back door. Yes, this is one of my favorite rooms. There are no windows, I have a a sliding door there which is easy to get in and out of. All four walls in this room are Insulated for quietness. So, when I get a migraine, I'll come in here and lay down and turn on the air conditioner. Because of his injuries, his medications would highly increase his body temperature. The kids complained that the house was so cold for dad, that they had to wear sweaters and jackets year round to keep him comfortable. You have to have like, three layers of shirt on, two pairs of pants, five pairs of socks, absolutely ridiculous. It's so cold but in this new house, he has his own room that can be absolutely freezing and it does freezing all the time. I can keep it as cool as I want, I don't affect everyone else in the house. You could come over to bedroom again for. A migraine. And I ended up using less medicine, too. That's a big deal. The less stress, the less PTS. The process that we went through in trying to give him a customized home, beyond just having nice finish and an attractive place, was to meet their needs. to give him a comfortable environment where they as a family can function day to day, live their life in comfort and in ease. [BLANK_AUDIO] It has been a life changing experience for everybody in the family. The difference In Ray. It's night and day. It's night and day. He's getting back to the way that he used to be. There is more humor there. Since we've received this house from Operation Finally Home, we get to spend, let's see, 75% more time together. It's easier for me to get around And chase them down but now they're teenagers and they don't want to hang out, so it's a double edge sword I guess. To go in and step in and come alongside him and pick that one piece and free them up to be able to do some other things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. My daughter. Will be the first one to go to college directly out of high school. If it wasn't for this place she wouldn't be there. We never could afford it, there's no way. They're just so many different people, companies, entities, that Come together for this common goal of supporting wounded service members, wounded veterans, wounded families. I think the most rewarding part of it is to see all the people that have come together and the response that they've made. To make a different in the Coffey's life. No one say no. Nobody even say maybe. They all say what do we got to do to help? And they rose to the occasion. Because the Coffey family, they are all being impacted by home. And it is very rare in our lives that we can actually do something. That we can tangibly see where we made a difference. [MUSIC] We started out with pouring concrete, and now look where we are. I mean, it was remarkable to meet all these guys. [MUSIC]