Military heroes surprised with new homes

H-E-B, Operation Finally Home, Centex Homes behind gifts

U.S. Army Captain Jeremy Baggett, a father of three, is what many would call a hero.

"My quadricep tendon was shredded due to the shrapnel and (I suffered) multiple nerve compressions," he said.

Baggett suffered extensive injuries after an improvised explosive attack in Iraq in 2003. Teresa, Baggett's wife, spent the past seven years helping him to recover.

"What are you going to do? How do you start over? What is life going to be like?" recalled Teresa, after the injuries.

Answers to those questions became much clearer on Wednesday after the Baggetts were given a hero's welcome along with keys to a new, 1,900-square-foot home in Selma. The home was a true surprise for the humble family.

"I'm in shock," said Baggett. "We feel like we don't deserve it."

Baggett is a Purple Heart recipient. He is credited for saving the life of his battalion commander during an ambush and has received many other military commendations. 

The home was made possible by the 29th-annual HEB Tournament of Champions, a fundraising effort partnered with Operation Finally Home and Centex Homes. 

Also receiving a home on Wednesday was Matthew Castillo del Muro, who served as an Army Specialist in Afghanistan. 

Castillo, a father of two, suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost his leg after stepping on an IED. He, too, received the Purple Heart.

"These just incredibly deserving individuals who made a very powerful choice," said Winnel Herron, vice president of Public Affairs for HEB. "Less than 1 percent of individuals in our country choose to serve in the military. It is truly an honor to present these two deserving families with a new home that they can call their own."

HEB stocked the pantries and refrigerators of both homes.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.

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