The nonprofit Military warriors Support Foundation is awarding a mortgage-free home in Killeen to a discharged or soon to be discharged wounded warrior.
The San Antonio based organization is accepting applications from interested individuals through midnight Sunday.
The home-a brick two-story 2,400 square foot, four bedroom with a master suite on the ground floor-is located in the 76549 zip code of area of western Killeen south of U.S. Highway 190.
Because the home is currently vacant programs coordinator Casey Kinser said the street name cannot be given. A photo of the home is available on the foundation’s website, www.militarywarriors.org/openhomes.
The Killeen home will be the organization’s 15th awarded to a wounded warrior, Kinser said. Other foundation homes are in several other locations in Texas and other states.
The three-year old organization, which runs a handful of programs for veterans, has been awarding homes to wounded warriors for two years. Staff hope to dramatically increase the number of homes awarded to veterans this year, Kinser said.
Homes are typically donated to the organization’s Homes for Wounded Heross program by banks following voluntary foreclosures, she said.
Robert Leonard 27, and his family of four moved into their Sugarland home, courtesy of Military Warriors Support Foundation in August.
The program might sound too good to be true, but it’s real, he said. His home even had new carpets and landscaping before he moved in.
“They try to help you out as much as they can,” he said of the foundation. “It’s just unbeliveable of how much it’s helped out family.”
Leonard, a former Army sergeant, was wounded in Iraq in 2005, during a deployment with the 3rd Squardron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, of Fort Stewart, Ga.
A roadside bomb blew up underneath his armored vehicle, he said and his right leg had to be amputated.
He always thought he’d be an Army “lifer,” he said, and had to develop a new plan after continued service was no longer possible.
He’s now studying to become a mechanical engineer. Not having to worry about paying a mortgage has helped him “transition from being a soldier to actually becoming a productive member of society now,” he said.
Home recipients receive the deed to the home after three years of home and financial monitoring, in addition to other assistance from the organization.
To qualify, applicants must be combat-wounded veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. Purple Heart recipients are strongly preferred, according to information from the foundation. They must be discharged or retired from any branch of the military, or, in some cases less than 90 days away from being so. They should not have a current mortgage.
The foundation will decide who receives the home based on applicant need and other factors. The recipient will be notified in about a month according the organization’s website.
To apply by midnight Sunday go to www.militarywarriors.org/openhomes.
For more information, call 254 615 8973
by Colleen Flaherty
Killeen Daily Herald