Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Young survived a life-altering attack while deployed, and he was left with injuries that dramatically affect his day-to-day life. He returned home, met and married the love of his life, and began the hard road to recovery. The Youngs' home wasn’t conducive to Sgt. Young and his family’s needs, so Operation Finally Home offered to help. A surprise trip to the New Orleans Saints’ training facility ended in an even bigger surprise—Sgt. Young and his family would be receiving a new home in Louisiana, a mortgage-free sanctuary where they can spend time together, heal, grow, and start a new chapter in their lives. Watch their heartwarming story and learn more about the important work that Operation Finally Home does to support our veterans as they return from serving our country. Southern Living is proud to partner with Operation Finally Home, and if you would like to support this wonderful organization, you can make a donation by visiting operationfinallyhome.org/buildinghope or by texting BuildingHope to 41444.
[MUSIC] I was gonna do both, I was gonna be in the Army and I was gonna be a cop. That's what I wanted to do. And so I succeeded in both of those. He was military police and he was a police officer. So both of those were a big deal to him, cuz that's what he always wanted to do, was help people. [MUSIC] My driver actually, for some reason, saw it. But they were pretty close to the vehicle, and he said he saw two of them just come up and just [SOUND]. RKG-3, it's a Russian anti-tank grenade. It's got a copper core that penetrates armor. And it went through the door, missed my leg, went underneath the seat, then went through the floor. And the second one It hit the window and it actually blew the 800-pound armored window off of the Humvee. I remember waking up half-way in his lap and he thought I was dead. Three torn disk in his back. When he walks, he's just in excruciating pain. He has partial feeling in his left leg from here down. Short term memory sucks. I get confused easy. Yes, the concussion from the blast, and the migraines are a result of that. All the time, just get sick, just the point of vomiting sick. As depression, anxiety. I get so over stimulated, if something comes up that I don't have plan, I felt like I could blow a gasket. [MUSIC] Sometimes. And I used to not be like that. I guess it's from PTSD or the head injury. That a lot of the symptoms they've studied are for both. [MUSIC] I fell in love with him when I met him. So. By the third date, we were always together, we never left each other [LAUGH]. Our fourth date, he pretty much, he started crying, he told me he was crazy and he [INAUDIBLE] I still loved him [LAUGH]. And he had severe depression and anxiety, and that he had a traumatic brain injury. And I told him I still loved him anyways, so. [MUSIC] Amy is my stepdaughter, and I love her to death. I never knew that a child could actually care for a stepparent the way she does. She really loves me. We always hang out together, and he has been really great. [MUSIC] Well, they took us down to the Saints training facility, and they had been practicing. [UNKNOWN] 's finally home, and they called us, and said they're doing an interview. And we thought they were just asking Nathan about what happened overseas, to him. And all of a sudden, Trey Evans come in. I'm happy to announce that we're going to be moving you home for Christmas, and we're gonna build a home, so You guys have been excepted through the- And then they said congratulations you got a house in [UNKNOWN]. And I was just shocked. And I was just so happy. I don't know man. I don't even know what to say. I almost went into shock. I thought it was awesome. I was ecstatic. I'm pretty much excited that There are still people out there who are really nice to people like Nathan and what he's done for our country. [MUSIC] Dedication Day is obviously the culmination of everything that That we've done for Nathan thus far. It's an end to the project in some ways. But it's really a start for he and his family. I'm really blessed. And I don't know what to say right now. [MUSIC] I'm just extremely blessed. I don't know what else I could really say. Thank you. I felt for a long time I haven't deserved it but [APPLAUSE] Sorry. I'm gonna make the best of it, thank you. [APPLAUSE] Welcome to your new home. [SOUND] Awesome. Wow. [MUSIC] And look at the couch, Mom. I see [LAUGH] Just didn't know what was coming, what to expect. It's like opening up a really big present. [LAUGH] Wow. All right, so this is Emmy's room. Bright color, some happy cheerful bedding. Teenage colors. It's awesome. That was amazing. It was so exciting just to hear the oohs and ahs and have them And then experience what we've been working on for so long, and just walk it through. In every room was just something more exciting, so it was great. I feel this is a new chapter in our lives, a new start, and maybe a new book, cuz my book has not been the best until Tabitha, actually. It's been pretty rough. But she's been there for me. Anthony's been there and Amy's been there and, I just don't know what to say. Without these two right here, I wouldn't be here today, probably. I just want to say thank you to Operation Finding a Home. Tyson and instruction. All the volunteers that put everything into this. All the builders, suppliers, the construction workers. I mean Diamond, the guy that's slinging the paint in here, thank you. [MUSIC]