Building Homes for Heroes gives home to military family injured in Brussels attack

Martinez family lost wife, mother

SAN ANTONIO – Saturday was an emotional day for members of one military family in San Antonio as they were gifted a home and showered with Christmas presents.

A holiday decorating celebration, made possible by Building Homes for Heroes, was held at the new home of Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek "Kato" Martinez and his four children.

"(We're) totally overwhelmed with emotions," Martinez said.

The Martinezes lost their wife and mother, Gail, nearly nine months ago in the Belgium terrorist attacks. She was protecting her two youngest children when bombings occurred at the Brussels Airport.

"I try not to think about how much I miss her, but that's what I was feeling when all these people have come together to show this much love," Martinez said.

The entire Martinez family was hurt in the attack, both physically and emotionally. However, joy was evident on their faces as the family was showered with gifts, including the mortgage-free home from Building Homes for Heroes.

Gail and "Kato" Martinez spent 22 years together.

"Just look at the house. You look at the inside, there's so much love," Martinez said. "You look at the people that have come together. You look at all the good things. There's no way this could've happened without her hand, without her being part of this."

Building Homes for Heroes believes building a home doesn't compare to rebuilding lives for wounded veterans and their families.

"I made a promise to myself on 9/11 that I would serve my country, and this is certainly one of the most shining examples of that honor," said Andy Pujol, Building Homes for Heroes president.

For more information about the nonprofit organization, click here.