Military families suprised with much needed homes

Program helps wounded warriors transition into civilian life

Author: Justin Horne, Meteorologist/Reporter, jhorne@ksat.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 05:22:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2012 05:39:21 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Three San Antonio military families received a surprise gift of a lifetime Wednesday morning.

"I can’t even put it into words right now. It’s just a blessing,” said Robbie Cadena.

Cadena and his wife, Joan, were surprised with a home at a ceremony hosted by Bank of America and Operation Homefront.

Two other wounded warriors and their families also received homes: Eddie and Mary Dodson and Charles and Alexandria Henry.

All three families had no idea they would become homeowners and were overcome with emotions.

“We were just blown away. We had no idea. We just woke up and got ready and thought we were going to have some breakfast,” said Cadena.

Cadena took two gunshots to the chest while serving in the military and currently still has a bullet lodged in his spine. Wounded warriors like Cadena are who Bank of America and Operation Homefront hope to help.

"This is such a great program that really helps some of the warriors that defend America enjoy the American dream,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of Operation Homefront.

The program gives veterans of all eras a chance to transition from a military life to civilian life by providing them a home, free of mortgage, for at least two years.

It has helped many families get back on their feet, which for wounded warriors can often be a tough task. Many of the homes are bank-owned, and are donated to the veterans.

"Without (Bank of America and Operation Homefront), I don’t know where we would be right now,” said veteran Eddie Dodson, who also received a home.

His wife, Mary, was overcome when she learned the news.

"I really appreciate this. This is the biggest blessing I could have ever have imagined in my life,” said a teary Dodson.

For veteran Charles Henry and his wife Alexandria, who have two small children, the excitement was evident.

"I just feel really blessed right now. It lets us know were not alone,” added Henry.